Why does it seem impossible for Africa to rank among continents with the youngest leaders? Africa is known to be the home of a number of the world’s oldest serving presidents led by Zimbabwe’s 92-year old Robert Mugabe. Most African leaders are always accused of clinging on to power for decades; they see themselves as life presidents.
However, did you know that the continent also has some of the youngest leaders in the world? One is just 47 years old.
Who is the youngest African president?
According to the rating published by listwand.com, the youngest president in Africa is Joseph Kabila. He was elected to be the President of Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001. At the age of 29, he became the youngest president in the world. Here’s an overview of the youngest African presidents in 2019
Top 10 Youngest African Presidents 2019
10. John Dramani Mahama, Ghana (Age: 60)
John Dramani was born on November 29, 1958. John Dramani Mahama has been the President of Ghana since July 2012. He served the nation as its Vice President between 2009 and 2012. He assumed the office of the president on July 24 2012, when the then president John Atta Mills died.
9. Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon (Age: 60)
Ali Bongo Ondimba is a Gabonese politician who has been President of Gabon since October 2009. Before him, His father Omar Bongo was the President of Gabon from 1967 to 2009, when he died. During his father’s presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991 and represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999; subsequently he was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009. Following his father’s death after 41 years in power, he was first elected in the August 2009 presidential election and was again re-elected in August 2016, in elections marred by numerous irregularities, arrests, human rights violations and post-election violence.
8. Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya (Age: 57)
Uhuru Kenyatta has been the President of Kenya since April 9 2013. He is the fourth president of Kenya. His father Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya’s first president. He is also the eight youngest president in Africa. Uhuru was re-elected for a second term in the August 2017 general election, winning 54% of the popular vote. The win was formally declared on national television by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Wafula Chebukati. However, Uhuru’s election was successfully challenged in the Supreme Court of Kenya by his main competitor, Raila Odinga. On 1 September 2017, the court declared the election invalid and ordered a new presidential election to take place within 60 days from the day of the ruling. A new presidential election was held on 26 October, which he won, with 39% participation due to voter fatigue, voter apathy and being boycotted by the opposition.
7. Macky Sall, Senegal (Age: 57)
Macky Sall was born on December 11, 1961. He was elected president of Senegal in 2012 after beating his former political ally Abdoulaye Wade. He was the Mayor of Fatick from 2002 to 2008 and held that post again from 2009 to 2012.
6. Letsie III of Lesotho (Age: 55)
Letsie III was born on July 17, 1963. He is the king and head of state of Lesotho. He succeeded his father, Moshoeshoe II, when the latter was forced into exile in 1990. His father was briefly restored in 1995 but soon died in a car crash in early 1996, and Letsie became king again. As a constitutional monarch, most of King Letsie’s duties as monarch of Lesotho are ceremonial. He was 27-year old when he ascend the crown.
5. Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundi (Age: 55)
Pierre Nkurunziza is a Burundian politician who was formerly the Chairman of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), the ruling party, until he was elected as President of Burundi. Pierre Nkurunziza has been the President of Burundi since 2005. Currently, He is the fifth youngest president in Africa. In August 2009, he was awarded the “Model Leader for a New Africa Award” by AFREG.
4. Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia (Age: 53)
Yahya Jammeh is the President of the Gambia. He was a 29-year old army officer when he assumed power in a 1994 military coup. It was a bloodless coup. He seized power from President Dawda Jawara. Yahya Jammeh was elected to the Office of the President of the Gambia; he was re-elected in 2001, 2006 and 2011.
3. Faure Gnassingbe, Togo (Age: 52)
Faure Gnassingbe has been the President of Togo since May 4 2005. He was appointed to the government by his father Gnassingbe Eyadema before he passed away on February 5 2005. He then won a controversial presidential election on 24 April 2005, and was sworn in as President. Gnassingbé was re-elected for a second term in 2010.
2. Mswati III, Swaziland (Age: 50)
Mswati III is the King of Swaziland, a crown he inherited from his father Sobhuza II,. He is the head of the Swazi Royal Family. He was introduced as the crown prince in 1983 and was crowned on April 25 1986, at the age of 18.
Together with his mother, Ntombi Tfwala, now Queen Mother, he rules the country as an absolute monarch. Mswati III is known for his practice of polygamy and currently has 15 wives. Although he is respected and fairly popular in Swaziland, his policies and lavish lifestyle have led to local protests and international criticism.
1. Joseph Kabila, D.R. Congo (Age: 47)
Joseph Kabila Kabange was born on June 4, 1971. He became president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in January 2001 after the assassination of his father, Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Becoming the world’s youngest at the age of 29. He was elected as the president in 2006, and was re-elected in 2011.