Leadership in the African context has been regarded as a task for the elderly. They presumably have wisdom and experience that the younger generation may not have. However, certain young leaders across the continent prove that this task is not the sole responsibility of the older generation. As the elections of Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria looms ahead Jovago.com decided to show some of Africa’s interesting youngest and oldest presidents in power.
Top 4 oldest
Zimbabwe and Mugabe
Robert Mugabe remains Africa’s oldest and possibly the most notorious, he celebrated his 91st birthday the last February. He has been in power since the 1980s after ZANU-PF ousted the existent white-minority rule at the time. Zimbabwe’s economy has suffered under Mugabe’s rule but he shows no sign of letting go of his hold on the presidency. President Mugabe seems nonchalant about the bans incurred by the Zimbabwean state under his rule.
Paul Biya has been in power since 1975 when he became prime minister until he consolidated power in 1983. Interestingly he has won all the elections but one in his country. Paul Biya’s absence from the ceremony honouring lost soldiers has been looked down upon as it translates to insensitivity towards the Cameroonian state. Biya won the last 2011 elections at the age of 79.
Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang
As is the case for Cameroon, Theodoro Obiang also won the elections at 67 years old with landslide victories seen in 2009. He has been subject to several fraudulent accusations and the Equatorial Guinean media refer to him as a national “god”. Having his son as as vice president and minister of agriculture also does not bode well with the masses. He has been in power for more than 30 years making him the longest-serving African president.
Tunisia’s Béji Caid Essebsi
Born in 1926, he has been the president of Tunisia since 2014 but served as prime minister and before then as the minister of foreign minister for 5 years (1981-1986). He is regarded to as the “old wolf” by Tunisians. We hope his experience from previous posts in the government would go a long way in helping him make decisions for the future of the country.