Civilization V Customisation Wiki
Songhai Empire
Askia I
Start Bias
Avoid Tundra
Shia Islam
req. mod

Traits req. mod
Aggressive, Protective
Map Labels Language req. mod
Magical Girl req. mod
Askia Sino

Songhai led by Askia is a civilization available in vanilla Civilization 5. It does not require any DLC.



The Songhai Empire was a civilization that flourished in West Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Songhai first appeared near the city of Gao; later, the Songhai gained Gao's neighbors along the Niger river - Timbouctou and Jenne. All three of these river cities were vassals of the Malinese Empire and before that the Ghana Empire. In the early 14th century the Songhai gained independence from the Mali, and over the next two centuries it expanded, eventually becoming the largest empire in African history.


Moḥammad ibn Abī Bakr Ture, also known as Moḥammad I Askia (reigned 1493–1528), welded the central region of the western Niger into a single Songhai empire, the largest in African history. Although he fought several military campaigns, he is primarily remembered for reorganizing, modernizing and bringing stability to the Songhai. He is also remembered for making a famous pilgrimage to Mecca.

Askia ruled for some thirty-five years. In 1528, old and blind, he was deposed by one of his sons, dying some 10 years later. He is judged to be an extremely competent administrator, his reign a golden age for religion and knowledge in Western Africa. While not a great general, he was able to expand his empire and to hold on to what he had taken until age robbed him of his powers. Overall, Askia is generally considered to be one of the best sub-Saharan rulers in history.

Dawn of Man[]

May the blessings of God, who is greatest of all, be upon you Askia, leader of the Songhai people! For many years your kingdom was a vassal of the mighty West African state of Mali, until the middle of the 14th century, when King Sunni Ali Ber wrested independence from the Mali, conquering much territory and fighting off numerous foes who sought to destroy him. Ultimately, his conquest of the wealthy cities of Timbuktu and Jenne gave the growing Songhai empire the economic power to survive for some 100 years, until the empire was destroyed by foes with advanced technology - muskets against spearmen.

King Askia, your people look to you to lead them to glory. To make them powerful and wealthy, to keep them supplied with the weapons they need to defeat any foe. Can you save them from destruction, oh King? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?

Introduction: I am Askia of the Songhai. We are a fair people - but those who cross us will find only destruction. You would do well to avoid repeating the mistakes others have made in the past.

Defeat: We have been consumed by the fires of hatred and rage. Enjoy your victory in this world - you shall pay a heavy price in the next!

Unique Attributes[]

Songhai (Askia)

Art by Firaxis

River Warlord

Receive 3 times the amount of Gold Gold from Barbarian encampments and pillaging cities. Land units gain the War Canoe and Amphibious promotions, strengthening them while embarked.


Art by Firaxis

Mandekalu Cavalry (Knight)
  • No penalty vs Cities
  • -9% Production Production cost (110 vs 120)

Art by Firaxis

Mud Pyramid Mosque (Temple)
  • +2 CultureIcon Culture
  • No maintenance
  • No Crimes Crime (CID)
City List
  1. Gao
  2. Tombouctu
  3. Jenne
  4. Taghaza
  5. Tondibi
  6. Kumbi Saleh
  7. Kukia
  8. Walata
  9. Tegdaoust
  10. Argungu
  11. Gwandu
  12. Kebbi
  13. Boussa
  14. Mopti
  15. Bamako
  16. Wa
  17. Kayes
  18. Awdaghost
  19. Ouadane
  20. Dakar
  21. Tadmekket
  22. Tekedda
  23. Kano
  24. Agadez
  25. Niamey
  26. Torodi
  27. Ouatagouna
  28. Dori
  29. Bamba
  30. Segou
Spy List
  • Ahmadou
  • Ayub
  • Badru
  • Bokhari
  • Guedado
  • Adhiambo
  • Chinaka
  • Laila
  • Mariama
  • Oni




Peace Theme War Theme

Mod Support[]

Events and Decisions[]

Recruit Scholars for the Sankoré University[]

In order for Songhai to truly be great, we must not neglect the cultural and intellectual needs of our people. Let us recruit Scholars to staff the Sankoré Madrasah and the many other centres of learning within the nation.


  • Player must be Songhai
  • Player must have researched Education
  • May only be enacted once per game


  • 100 CultureIcon Culture
  • 300 Gold Gold
  • Magistrates Magistrates


  • +1 Science Science and +1 CultureIcon Culture from every Mud Pyramid Mosque

Police our Trade Routes[]

Our army needs gold to support it, gold which we earn through trade. We would do well to dedicate some of our troops and funds to protecting our merchants; helping to ensure a continual flow of money into the Songhai Empire.


  • Player must be Songhai
  • Player must have at least 2 Trade Routes
  • May only be enacted once per era


  • 200 Gold Gold
  • Magistrates Magistrates


  • Receive a Military Unit for every Trade Route

Unique Cultural Influence[]

"Our people are now buying your bogolan shirts and playing the Kora. I worry the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture."

Vanilla Civilizations
Gods and Kings
Brave New World