American author, speaker and pastor once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” The welfare of the citizens of a nation depends greatly on its leader. But most of these leaders don’t want to let go of the power because of greed. Many of the longest-serving Presidents in the world are from Africa.
Below is the list of the 12 Longest Serving African Presidents:
12. Denis Sassou Nguesso – Republic of Congo: 16 years in power
This Congolese politician is the current President of the Republic of Congo. He has been serving the nation in this capacity since 25th October 1997.
11. Yahya Jammeh – Gambia: 19 years in power
Yahya Jammeh is the President of Gambia. He assumed the office on 22nd July 1994.
10. Isaias Afwerki – Eritrea: 23 years in power
Isaias Afwerki is the first President of the State of Eritrea. He assumed the office on 27th April 1991, when the nation gained its independence.
9. Idriss Deby – Chad: 23 years in power
This Chadian politician has been serving the nation as its President since 2nd December 1990.
8. Omar al-Bashir – Sudan: 25 years in power
Omar al-Bashir is the President of Sudan. He assumed the office on 30th June 1989.
7. Blaise Compaore – Burkina Faso: 26 years in power
This Burkinabe politician has been the President of Burkina Faso since 1987.
6. Yoweri Museveni – Uganda: 28 years in power
This Ugandan politician has been serving as its President since 29th January 1986.
5. Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe: 26 years in power
This Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician is the current President of Zimbabwe. He assumed the office on 22nd December 1987. He served as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 18th April 1980 to 22nd December 1987. He was one of the leaders of the rebel groups against white minority rule. Mugabe has won many elections, although frequently these have been criticized by outsiders for violating various electoral procedures.
4. Paul Biya – Cameroon: 31 years in power
Paul Biya, who served as the Prime Minister, and is now serving as the President of Cameroon. His tenure began on 30th June 1975. Paul Biya is a native of Camaroon’s south. He served as a bureaucrat under President Ahmadou Ahidjo in the 1960s. He was a Secretary General of the Presidency from 1968 to 1975. He became the Prime Minister of Cameroon in 1975 and served in that capacity till 1982, when he assumed the Office of the President.
3. Jose Eduardo dos Santos – Angola: 34 years in power
This Angolan politician has been its President since 1979. He is also the President of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the party that has ruled the nation since it gained independence in 1975. Jose Eduardo dos Santos is the commander in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces and the president of the People’s Movement of the Liberation of Angola, the party that has been in power since the nation gained its independence in 1975.
2. Teodoro Obiang Nguema – Equatorial Guinea: 34 years in power
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is the President of Equatorial Guinea. He came to power in August 1979 by ousting his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in a military coup. He has overseen the emergence of the nation as an important oil producer, beginning in 1990s. He was the Chairperson of the African Union from 31st January 2011 to 29th January 2012.
1. Mohamed Abdelaziz – Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic: 37 years in power
Right at the top of the list is Mohamed Abdelaziz, the third and current Secretary General of the Polisario Front and President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. His tenure began in 30th August 1976. Mohamed Abdelaziz is a secular nationalist. He was elected as the vice-president of the African Union at its first summit. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
It is indeed a challenge to rule a nation for more than a decade. The above-mentioned leaders have managed to stay in power for more than a decade, which is indeed an abuse of democracy.