In the dynamic terrain of African politics, the age of presidents frequently piques interest and raises issues about leadership, wisdom, and the continent’s destiny. It has recently aroused outrage among the younger generation, who think that if given the opportunity, youths can govern better. This has resulted in an increase in the number of African youth engaged in politics.
The usual retirement age for the working in most African countries is 60 years. There are, however, African presidents who continue to reign well past the age of 60.
This norm originates from the widely held belief that leaders should have extensive political or military experience.
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Every president included in this list ascended to the pinnacle of their country’s leadership structure only after years of service in a variety of governmental and political posts.
Their paths varied, with some embracing the president later in life, while others assumed the mantle at a younger age, charting the course of their countries for decades. In this article, Nyscinfo takes a look at the current oldest Presidents in Africa.
List of The Oldest Presidents In Africa
1. Paul Biya [Cameroon]
Paul Biya is Africa’s oldest president and one of the world’s oldest. Paul, who was born on February 13, 1933, has been the President of Cameroon since November 6, 1982, making him Africa’s second longest-serving president.
Paul Biya will be 90 years old in 2023 and will have been president of Cameroon for 41 years in a row. His protracted reign has witnessed both successes and setbacks, sparking debate regarding succession planning and the future of Cameroon’s leadership.
2. Alpha Condé [Guinea]
At the age of 72, Alpha Condé was elected President of Guinea in 2010. He was the country’s president for over a decade, until he was deposed in a military coup at the age of 83 in 2021.
Allegations of corruption, human rights breaches, and economic incompetence during his leadership prompted the military takeover. The events surrounding Condé’s ouster show the complicated problems that leaders face, as well as the impact their actions can have on a nation’s political environment.
3. Alassane Dramane Ouattara [Ivory Coast]
Ivory Coast’s (Côte d’Ivoire) president is Alassane Dramane Ouattara. The 81-year-old economist was elected president for the third time in 2010 when he was 68 years old. Ouattara previously served as Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire from November 1990 to December 1993.
4. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo [Equatorial Guinea]
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is an Equatoguinean statesman and former military commander who has served as Equatorial Guinea’s second president since August 3, 1979. He holds the record for the world’s longest-serving president and is the world’s second-longest-serving current non-royal national leader.
Teodoro took over as president of Equatorial Guinea after a military revolution in 1979, becoming the country’s second president. After 43 years in office, the 80-year-old president expressed interest in running for a sixth term in 2022 and won with 95% of the vote.
5. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa [Uganda]
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa, the 9th President of Uganda, is a 78-year-old Ugandan politician and retired senior military officer. He took office on January 26, 1986, after taking part in the rebellion that deposed Ugandan dictators Idi Amin (1971-79) and Milton Obote (1980-85).
The West first lauded Museveni as a hero for his role in restoring calm to Uganda. However, he changed the political scene over time, such as abolishing presidential term limits in 2005, which allowed him to extend his own rule. These changes have spurred debates and discussions regarding democratic values and power consolidation in Uganda.
6. Abdelmadjid Tebboune [Algeria]
In addition to his duties as Minister of Defense, Abdelmadjid Tebboune is the President of Algeria, a position he has held since December 2019. Tebboune has held numerous governmental positions, including prime minister during the administration of former long-serving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced to resign in April owing to widespread protests.
His tenure as Prime Minister, which began in May 2017, was unexpectedly ended in less than four months. This was allegedly precipitated by his perceived attempt to position himself as Bouteflika’s successor during a meeting with his French colleague, Edouard Philippe, in Paris only days before his departure.
7. Ismail Omar Guelleh [Djibouti]
Ismail Omar Guelleh, born on November 27, 1947, will be one of Africa’s top ten oldest presidents in 2023. He has been the President of Djibouti since 1999, a position he has held for nearly two decades. Guelleh, who took over from his predecessor, has experienced various problems throughout his leadership.
Despite these challenges, he has remained in power, exhibiting his persistence and ability to handle his country’s complex political scene.
8. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa [Zimbabwe]
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a Zimbabwean politician who has served as President of Zimbabwe since November 24, 2017. Mnangagwa, who took power after Robert Mugabe was deposed in a coup, is establishing a reputation as an even more autocratic leader keen on keeping power.
The president, dubbed “the crocodile” in Zimbabwe, won re-election on 27th August, 2023.
9. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo [Ghana]
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 79, is a notable Ghanaian politician who was elected President of Ghana in 2017 following two prior unsuccessful presidential bids in 2008 and 2012.
Prior to his presidency, he held key administrative roles, including Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007 during John Kufuor’s administration.
10. Bola Ahmed Tinubu [Nigeria]
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a Nigerian politician who is now the 16th President of Nigeria. He was born on March 29, 1952 (71 years old) and will be one of Africa’s top ten oldest presidents in 2023. Prior to becoming president, he served as governor of Lagos State from 1999 until 2007.
During the Third Republic, Tinubu was also a senator representing Lagos West. With his substantial political expertise, he has played an important part in Nigerian politics, contributing to the country’s development and governance.
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