• Trending News:

    Friday, 12 January 2018

    DEMOCRATIC MONARCHY: Meet Ten Men Shaping Africa By Ayuba Iliya

    THE ouster of former Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe after a 37 years rule and the recent victory of former football player George Weah as Liberia's president might have been a step closer to the end of the long history of sit tite rule in Africa's democracy.

    However, the signing of a bill, taking off limits for presidential tenure by Uganda's president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is a reminder that the transition of leadership from the old to the young in Africa will not come without a price.

    While the rest of the world has seen the emergence of the likes of 40 years old Emmanuel Macron as the President of France, Africa for long has been characterised by a political structure that fails to recognize the potentials of its more than half population - the youth.
    It has been argued that African youths are not prepared to take up leadership responsibilities given the historical background of Africa's democratic development.

    For instance in a response to accusations of the popular comedian I go dye over patronizing the youth for political gains, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar attributted the lack of youth leaders to Nigeria's political instability. 

    He said: "The Nigerian youth have often been taken for granted, and almost every leader in our history has taken young people for granted. But it’s important to point how this started – for people like me who saw Independence; our leadership was mostly driven by young people. 

    "Then came the coups, and the civil war, and then more coups. Nigeria ended up with a long period of military dictatorship for many decades, in which time; those young leaders aged, but still remained leaders. Fela, Gani, Enahoro, and Beko were young leaders, yet remained leaders until their demise. That was because of the stagnation brought on by decades of political instability.

    READ ALSO: Africa Heads In Different Directions – Politically And Economically

    "By the time we got to 1999, the young people of the day had not been prepared for leadership, because there was no leadership or apprenticeship process under dictatorships. This is one of the reasons the age of leaders has continued to rise. That was because of the leadership stagnation brought on by decades of political instability

    However, the question is can the old generation of leaders rise to the challenges of a rapidly changing world? 

    A list of African presidents shows that at least 10 African presidents came into power in their early 40s and since then remain in office till date, with some of them serving for as much as thirty years or more.

    Meet The longest serving Presidents in Africa.

    Cameroonian President, Paul Biya. photo - buisness in cameroon
    Paul Biya of Cameroun aged 84 became president on 6th November 1982, at the age of 48. Before he became president he was prime minister between 1975 – 1982, by November 2017 Biya has spent 42 years in power.

    After his re-election in 2004 Biya was barred by a two-term limit according to the country’s 1996 constitution, which deters him from running for president again in 2011. Despite violent protest against his move to remove term limits, the country’s legislative arm largely dominated by Biya’s party approved for the removal of term limits.

    Ex-president Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. photo - aljazeera
    Until his recent ouster, 93 year old Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe assumed office December 22nd 1987 in his early sixties.under his watch one prime minister and at least six vice president have come and gone.

    In the build-up to the country’s election in 2002, Mugabe’s administration changed election rules and regulation to increase his chances of winning. Several cases of arbitrary killings and arrest of opposition leaders sponsored by him were recorded just to mention a few of his allegations. Last year December marked Robert Mugabe’s 37 years in power. 

    Angolan Presidnt, Dos Santos. photo - business day
    Don Santos of Angola aged 75 became president since 21 September 1979 to succeed the first president Agostinho Neto. Until he finally left office in September 2017, Dos Santos had on several occasions promised to hand over power. September last year was Santos 38 years in power. 

    President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki. photo - mandote.com
    Isaias Afwerki, aged  71 became the first President of Eritrea, in 1993 at the age of 47 till date.He led the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) to victory in May 1991, thus ending the 30-year-old Eritrean Armed Struggle for Independence that the Eritrean people refer to simply as "Gedli (Tigrinya: ገድሊ; "struggle"). Afwerki has been in office for 24 years.

    President of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. photo - somali land press
    71-year-old Ismaïl Omar Guelleh is the current President of Djibouti. He became president in 1999 at the age of 52.

    Guelleh was handpicked as successor to his uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who had ruled Djibouti since independence in 1977. Guelleh was re-elected in 2005, 2011 and again in 2016; the 2011 election was largely boycotted by the opposition amid complaints over widespread irregularities. Next year will be Guelleh's 20 years in office.

    Sudanese president, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir. photo - the chronicle
    Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir 74, is the seventh president of Sudan and head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 at the age of 44 as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army.

    He led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels in the south.Since then, he has been elected three times as President

    This year marks al-bashir's 29 years as president.

    president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. file photo
    Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 73 became Uganda's president in January 1986 at the age of 42 and has ruled the country for 31 years this year.

    Museveni was involved in the rebellion that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85). In the mid to late 1990s, Museveni was celebrated by the west as part of a new generation of African leaders.

    President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso. photo - aljazeera
    Denis Sassou Nguesso, 74 first became the president of Congo in 1979 at the age of 34 before he left office in 1992. 

    Sassou Nguesso was an opposition leader for five years before returning to power during the Second Civil War (1997-1999), in which his rebel forces ousted President Pascal Lissouba. Following a transitional period, he won the 2002 presidential election, which involved low opposition participation; he was re-elected in the 2009 presidential election.

    Cumulatively Nguesso has been in power for 33 years.

    President Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang. photo - enca.com
    75-year-old Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo became President of Equatorial Guinea in 1979 at the age 37. He ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup and has overseen Equatorial Guinea's emergence as an important oil producer, beginning in the 1990s. Obiang he is the second longest-serving non-royal national leader in the world.

    Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. photo - write opinions
    Abdelaziz Bouteflika, aged 80 is the fifth President of Algeria since 1999. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1963 to 1979. As President, he presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002, and he ended emergency rule in February 2011 amidst regional unrest.

    In November 2012, he surpassed Houari Boumediene as the longest-serving president of Algeria.

    Speaking on democratic growth in Africa President Barrack Obama in broadcast have said that “Africa’s democratic progress is at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end” 

    He said despite the fact that he enjoys being the president of the United State and would love to do more to make America better, under the country’s constitution he cannot run again, and he is mandated by the constitution of his country to step aside having served as one of the best.


    Perhaps African leaders must begin to learn from the likes of Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Ghana’s John Mahama, and liberate the continent from democratic monarchy, colonizing itself years after European colonialism. 

    International organizations must also not reserve any effort in ensuring these trend stops by intervening using every mechanism at its disposal.

    NB: The content of this article is the opinion of the writer and not Naija Magazine Online (NMO).

    Kindly share, leave a comment, contact us, like or follow us on Twitter Facebook Instagram. Do you have a story, or want to publicise your activities and promote your brand? Contact the Editor by Email.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment




    👇 👇 Contact Us �� ��


    Email *

    Message *