Getting to Know Your Opponents People's African Union

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Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Official Digital Strategy Guide
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Getting to Know Your Opponents People's African Union

  • Sponsor benefit: +10% Food in growing cities when healthy.

The chartering of the People's African Union was the culmination of what has been called the sub-Saharan Renaissance. A new generation of political thinkers and cultural organizers used the chaos of the years following the Great Mistake to build pockets of good governance and stability. Then, they gradually expanded and combined forces, focusing on continental self-reliance, traditional values of communalism, and a newly developed sense of shared destiny. These states were able to create strong stewardship of Africa's ample mineral and biological resources and counter the ecological damage within their borders. The People's African Union was one of the earliest backers of the Seeding, and it has profited greatly by its equatorial positioning in serving as a launch base for many expeditions.

Playstyle

The People's African Union is a wealthy ally in terms of its size and population. Its leader, Barre, is good at growing a small colony into a large country without wasting too much time. Expect his focus to be on mostly peaceful expansion while developing his cities. He won't like warmongers or alien killers most of the time, and these traits are likely to get you in trouble with him.

If you're playing as the People's African Union, exploit your strong growth potential. A 10% Food bonus is substantial, but you must watch out for unhealthiness in your nation. Too much of that, and your bonus goes away, leaving you in a deficient position compared with your rivals.

Don't expand too quickly! Make sure that your cities grow large and healthy before settling new ones. This ensures that you keep your bonus going and that you have high populations to work with. Prosperity virtues are well suited for this style of play.

Samatar Jama Barre

  • Strengths: Diplomacy, Growth, Health
  • Weaknesses: Production

Barre is a variation on the "wise old chief" archetype. He is likely to be a trustworthy opponent and ally, a character whom players would prefer to favor rather than resist. He is slightly overweight and aging, with an air of benign neglect about his clothing and hygiene. He behaves in a cordial, beatific, possibly na•ve fashion, as he speaks in soft tones, smiles frequently, and shrugs off insults and slights. He doesn't get angry with others as often as other Leaders. Should you stab him in the back, he appears sad and resigned, as if you hadn't grown up the way he had hoped, rather than furious and vengeful. That doesn't make him a pushover, however: he holds the line against his enemies with ruthless efficiency, especially when his people are threatened. Still, he consistently operates with an air of unflappable optimism and good humor.

His given name means "doer of good" in Somali; the family name is a line of historical Somali diplomats.

Avuncular, genial, affable, affecting an air of bonhomie, Samatar Jama Barre wished to be addressed as Kubwa Mjomba ("great uncle" in Swahili) by those he both commanded and protected. Despite his seeming benevolence and absent-minded demeanor, he was nonetheless an efficient and effective administrator, an able diplomat, and ruthless when necessary. Barre was amused and likely pleased when detractors likened him to the traditional African village chieftains of the past, claiming him to be a throwback and out of step with the new world in the wake of the Great Mistake. But the People's African Union made a wise choice when he was selected as one of their colony governors.

Rising from the poverty and violence of the inundated streets of Hargeisa, Samatar joined the African Union's resurgent military forces, eventually rising to the rank of Major. For three decades, he served in a variety of increasingly important posts, military and civilian, rising steadily in both ability and influence. He was able to overcome lingering tribal tensions, dealing with the polyglot cultures of Africa with both reverence and common sense. Barre displayed those same diplomatic skills when negotiating with those outside the African Union, and he brought to culmination several international agreements that helped propel the Union's colonization effort before he was selected to command one of those colonies.

Barre proved to be just as efficient against any perceived threat to the well-being and safety of those under his protection. In dealing with nascent warlords, religious fanatics, and local dictators, he either brought about an equitable peace or bludgeoned them into submission. Although never known as a military genius, his troops were extremely loyal to their "great uncle" and fought with abandon for his approval. Samatar Barre never lost a battle, although he took no credit for his victories and viewed them as lamentable necessities.

Though not religious himself, he was tolerant and accepting of others' religious traditions. In the end, it was this tolerance, coupled with his intellect and personality, that would shape the African Union's colony on the new planet.

Notes