Africa is the World’s youngest Continent with over 60% of its population being under
25 years of Age;Despite having the youngest Population in the World,Africa has the oldest Leaders in Power with about 20 of its sitting Presidents being 70 years and above.Forget about King Sobhuza 2 of Swaziland Monarchy (Present Day Eswatini) who ruled for 61 Years or Emperor Haile Sellasie who ruled Ethiopian Empire for 44 Years;Here is a list of Africa’s Longest serving Presidents some who ruled until Death took them out of Office; some are still in office Today;Some if all goes according to their plans could also end up ruling their respective Countries until Death parts them with the High Office;
1. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema-he took power after overthrowing and killing his Uncle President Francisco Nguema who was the first President of EQ in a bloody Coup of 1979 and from August 1979 To Date he has been the President Of Equatorial Guinea.The 76 years old President will be in his 43rd year in power when this Country holds its next elections in 2022.
2.President Paul Biya-he took power from Cameroon‘s first President Ahmadou Ahdijo in 1982 and from November 1982 To Date he has been the President;The 86-Years old now on a new 7-years 7th term in Office will be in his 43rd year in power when the Country holds its next elections in 2025.
3. President Alhaji Omar Bongo-Having been appointed Vice President by Gabon‘s First President one Leon M’ba on November 1966;Omar Bongo would later smoothly succeed M’ba who succumbed to Cancer on November 1967.He went on to rule for 42 Years until June 2009 when he also succumbed to Cancer.
4. President Col.Muammar Gaddafi-He took Power as a Young Army Officer after overthrowing Libya‘s Independence Leader King Idris 1 in the 1969 Coup (King Idris was then away for Medical Trip to Turkey).After taking Power on September 1969 Gaddafi transformed Libya from a Monarch to a Republic and ruled for 42 Years until October 2011 when he was Overthrown and Killed by Opposition Rebels in a Revolution that was backed by Western NATO Forces.
5. President Gen. Eyadema Gnassingbe- He took Power after leading Two successful Coups one in 1963 when he together with other Army Officers Overthrew and Killed Togo‘s First President Sylvanus Olympio and installed Nicolas Grunitzky to become the Second President who he would later Overthrow and Exile 4 Years later in another Coup of 1967. He Eyadema took Power on April 1967 and ruled for 38 Years until he Died in Power on February 2005.
6. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos– He rose to Power on September 1979 through Angola‘s Independence Party MPLA after the Death of Angola’s First President Agostinho Neto who succumbed to Cancer on September 1979.He went on to rule for 38 Years until September 2017 when he stepped down.He is currently 77 Years Old.
7. President Robert Mugabe– He came to Power as a Prime Minister in 1980 when Zimbabwe attained Independence and later Elected the Country’s First President in 1987. He went on to rule for 37 Years until he was Overthrown by Zimbabwe’s Military on November 2017.He died on September 6,2019 at Age 95 in a Singapore Hospital.
8. President Yoweri Museveni-he took power after a successful army-led bloodless Coup that toppled President Milton Obote in 1985.On January 1986 Yoweri Museveni declared himself President of Uganda,a position he holds To Date.With the scrapping off of the Presidential Age and Term limit,Museveni who is now 75 has already declared his Candidature to defend his Position and extend his 35 years in power in the Country’s next elections in 2021.
9. President Dennis Sassou Nguesso-after the assassination of President Marien Ngoubai in 1977 the Military Committee of Ngoubai’s Party that took over after his assassination ran the Republic of Congo for two years after which it appointed one of its members Colonel Dennis Sassou Nguesso as the interim President on February 1979,On March the same year 1979 the Peoples’ National Assembly of the Republic of Congo confirmed Dennis Sassou as the President.He ruled for 13 years until 1992 when he lost to his main rival President Pascal Lissouba in the Country’s first Multi-party elections of 1992.In Congo’s 1997 Civil War,Dennis Sassou Nguesso with a group of rebels and some significant support from some Angolan Troops ousted President Pascal Lissouba and on October 1997 Dennis Sassou returned to Brazzaville (Congo’s Capital) and declared himself President,a Position he holds To Date.By 2023 when this Country will hold its next Presidential elections,Dennis Sassou who is now 75 shall have ruled the Republic of Congo for 39 years.
10. President Omar-Al-Bashir-he took power on June 1989 through a bloodless Military Coup that toppled President Ahmed-Al-Mirghani and went on to rule the Republic of Sudan until April 2019 when he was Overthrown by Sudan’s Military amid his Plans to Extend his 30-Years Rule that caused 4 Months of National Civil Uprising across Sudan. The 75 Years Old is currently under Military detention.
11. President Hastings Kamuzu Banda– He rose to Power first as Prime Minister when Malawi got Independence on July 1964 and later as President from 1966 when Malawi became a Republic.He went on to rule for 30 Years until 1994 when he lost in Malawi’s first Democratic Elections.He died three Years later on November 1997 aged 99 Years.
12. President Idriss Deby-he came into power after leading a successful Coup that ousted President Hissen Habre who he had helped get into power only to turn against him when he (Habre) accused Deby of plotting a Coup against him.Deby fled to Sudan and organised an army that he named Patriotic Salvation Army with which he ousted President Habre out of Power in 1990 and has since then been the President of the Republic of Chad To Date. Deby who is now 67 shall be in his 31st year in Power when the Country holds its next elections in 2021.
13. President Isaias Afwerki– He led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front to Victory securing Eritrea’s independence on May 1993 and has been the President of Eritrea from 1993 To Date. Eritrea is a One-Party State with Isaias Party called People’s Front for Democracy and Justice being the only Party.There has been no elections in Eritrea since 1993 and there are no plans for the same as at now. Afwerki who is now 73 is in his 25th year in Power.
Above are those who have been in Power for the longest time;The list of those wielding State Power in Africa for a significantly long time is big and it includes the following;
14. President Ismael Omar Guelleh- the now 72-Yeras old came to Power on May 1999 after winning the April 1999 Presidential Election succeeding his Uncle President Hassan Aptidon who retired voluntarily.He has been the President of Djibouti from then To Date. He will be in his 22nd Year in Power when Djibouti holds its next Elections in 2021.
15. President Paul Kagame- at 61-the former Military Rebel Leader has been the President of Rwanda from 2000-to Date.He succeeded President Pasteur Bizimungu(1994-2000) who he deputised when they formed a National Unity Government that Ended Rwanda’s Genocide.He resigned over differences with his Vice President Paul Kagame who took over from him immeadiately.President Kagame will be in his 24th Year in Power when Rwanda holds its next Presidential Election in 2024.
16. President Faure Gnassingbe- The now 53-Years old took over Togo‘s Presidency immediately after the Death of his Father Eyadema Gnassingbe in 2005 and is still the President To Date ahead of Next Year’s 2020 Election which he is a Candidate after instituting a Constitutional Amendment through Togo’s Parliament to enable him seek Two more Terms.
17. Pierre Nkurunziza– A former Rebel Leader came to Power in 2005 after Burundi’s 12-Years Civil War that broke out in 1993 and he is still the President To Date after defying the 2005 Peace Deal that ended the Civil War by going for a contested Third Term in the 2015 Elections.The 54-Years old will be in his 15th Year in Power in the oncoming 2020 General Elections.