Vacancy: Young, African Leaders Required

African countries have the oldest, long serving leaders in the world, fact! What I intend to show (with proof) below is a list of African leaders, their age, and tenure so far, and compare them to world leaders outside of Africa. After this, we can then discuss the underlying reasons behind such ridiculously long tenures.

–          Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, 69 years old, 32 years(incumbent)

–          José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, 69 years old, 32 years(incumbent)

–          Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 87 years old, 31 years(incumbent)

–          Paul Biya of Cameroon, 78 years old, 29 years(incumbent)

–          Yoweri Museveni of Uganda , 72 years old, 25 years(incumbent)

–          King Mswati III of Swaziland, 43 years old, 24 years(incumbent)

–          Blaise Campore of Burkina Fasso, , 60 years old, 24 years(incumbent)

This makes the average tenure of these well known worldwide leaders 28.14 years. That is 7 terms for a British prime minister or an American president!  Now let us look at the longest serving “democratically elected” president or prime minister using the 20th century as a benchmark.

–  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 63 years old at the time of death, served 12 years 1 month and 8 days(4 terms in office)

– Margaret Thatcher,86 years old, served 11 years 206 days

I am not saying, and do not get me wrong, that we do not have leaders in other countries of the world who do the same. If we look at Cuba for example, Fidel Castro had been in power since 1965 and only resigned this year due to health reasons. He handed over power to his brother Raul in April hence turning the Cuban government into some makeshift monarchical leadership structure. My Focus in this blog is Africa which leads me to the questions:

–          Why does Africa have such long serving presidents?

–          Does it boil down to patriotism and the will to serve?

–          Could it be for the lack of suitable alternatives?

–          Could it possibly be the choice of the populace?


–          Is it greed related?

–          A continuous need to be in charge?

–          Love for power?

Whatever the case is, the time bomb is ticking tick, tick, tick.

We all know what happened to Colonel Mummar Gaddafi over this past month and how the same people he ruled for some 30 odd years turned against him and hunted him down, killing him like a common criminal and airing it live for the world to see.

The truth is that most of these long serving greedy leaders came into power under very criminal circumstances plagued with murder, coup de tats, false imprisonments of innocent people, exile of officials from the previous government and so on. These vile leaders have therefore decided to hold on to the leadership of their countries and its running to feed their greed and selfish interests while not giving any opportunity to the younger, fresh idea generation to have a go at leadership.

It is also interesting how the Western governments host these individuals and invite them for banquets and important occasions. Well, I feel like this is double standards by all standards but then “Africans” need to resolve “African problems”. If the people do not revolt but mumble under their breaths, how will this continuous holding on to power by self-centred, personal gain focused, shameless African leaders cease?

We cannot move forward as a continent if these leaders remain in power, we cannot develop as a continent with vast resources if some African leaders are more focused on usurping money and amassing wealth. Corruption is spreading across all generations and age bracket, it has become a norm…”Even the president is doing it”!

We need a redress, an overhaul, a change in game plan and leadership, otherwise Africa will always be “THAT JUNGLE”!!!

As usual your opinions on this issue are golden and expected. Please comment as you please.

About Afrocentricity Unleashed

Afrocentricity unleashed is an online Magazine-blog which shares information on afro-entertainment news and analysis. We talk about "mainly" african,afrocarribean and african diaspora related entertainment information,philosophy and exposure. Read my blogs to get the latest news and my own personal,unbiased analysis of entertainment,fashion,acting and artistes. This is a collaborative open magazine page so please bear your opinions and respect alternative points of view. Thanks. Afrocentricity Unleashed Team

Posted on November 5, 2011, in Africa. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Leaders of all nations should be, like nappies, changed regularly and for the same reason.

  2. I would not dispute that. There is always need for fresh ideas when the current one is not working. As the saying goes “Insanity is doing the same thing, the wrong way, and expecting a different result”.

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