Top 10 Longest-Serving African Leaders

Must read

By Daniel Edu

Africa has witnessed numerous leaders who have held power for extended periods, often in spite of democratic principles. These long-serving leaders have maintained their positions through various means, including changes to their country’s constitution, allegations of electoral fraud, and suppressing political opposition. Despite their lengthy tenures, many of these leaders have faced criticism for human rights violations, corruption, and poor governance. Here is a list of the top 10 current African heads of state, including monarchs, ranked by the length of time they have continuously held their positions:

1. Teodoro Obiang (44 years)
– Country: Equatorial Guinea
– Current and second president of Equatorial Guinea since August 1979. He assumed power after a military coup that ousted his uncle.

2. Paul Biya (41 years)
– Country: Cameroon
– President of Cameroon since November 6, 1982, and one of the world’s oldest presidents. His regime has received support from France, the former colonial power.

3. Denis Sassou Nguese (39 years)
– Country: Republic of the Congo
– President of the Republic of the Congo, with a total of 34 years in power, served non-consecutively from 1979 to 1992 and returned in 1997 after a civil war.

4. Yoweri Museveni (37 years)
– Country: Uganda
– President of Uganda since January 1986, following a successful war against previous Ugandan leaders Milton Obote and Idi Amin.

5. King Mswati III (37 years)
– Country: Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
– King of Eswatini since April 25, 1986, co-ruling with his mother, Queen Mother Ntfombi Tfwala.

6. Isaias Afwerki (30 years)
– Country: Eritrea
– First president of Eritrea since its independence from Ethiopia in April 1993.

7. Letsie III (27 years)
– Country: Lesotho
– King of Lesotho since 1996, following the death of his father, Moshoeshoe II. His coronation took place in October 1997.

8. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (24 years)
– Country: Djibouti
– President of Djibouti since 1999, succeeding his uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who ruled Djibouti since its independence in 1977.

9. Mohammed VI (24 years)
– Country: Morocco
– King of Morocco since July 23, 1999, following the death of his father, King Hassan II.

10. Paul Kagame (23 years)
– Country: Rwanda
– President of Rwanda since 2000. Kagame initially focused on military and foreign affairs before assuming the presidency in April 2000.

Notable former long-serving African leaders include Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Gabon’s Omar Bongo, Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Togo’s Gnassingbe Eyadema, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, and Chad’s Idriss Deby. Each of them held power for significant periods before their respective departures from office.

Copyright DAYBREAK.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from DAYBREAK NEWS.

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article