I've done culture and domination victories with them. Just buy all the great works you want. Eventually they will stop selling as I discovered in my Eleanor England game, but only after you have nearly every great work in the world. Then use your massive faith for rock bands. Despite an above comment, desert is not a good place for national parks since Firaxis thinks deserts are ugly, something I take exception to. Though with Eiffel and city parks maybe you can make something work, but you are better off using that faith for rock bands. Royal society makes science viable, as mentioned above, you should always be using free inquiry when possible. You'll never be as fast as say Germany because you can only use one builder per turn. Domination, just buy stuff. 'nuff said. Religion should be very strong as well. Diplomatic will be weakest, you can buy favor, but only up to a certain point. Maybe use your military to liberate city states. I enjoy Mali quite a lot, and they may be my favorite civ. But like the Cree, sometimes I have trouble deciding on a victory type.