PICS: Africa's longest-serving leaders

2018-10-02 10:00
Paul Biya (File: AFP)

Paul Biya (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cameroon President Paul Biya, 85, who is seeking a seventh consecutive term on Sunday, is the second longest-serving leader in Africa with nearly 36 years in office.

Only Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea is ahead, by three years.

Here is a rundown of the continent's leaders in longevity.

More than 30 years

- Obiang, 76, has been the head of tiny, oil-rich Equatorial Guinea for 39 years.

He came to power in a coup in August 1979 and was elected to a fifth seven-year term in 2016.

- Cameroon's Biya became president in November 1982.

- Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso has spent 34 years in office, but not in one go. He first served from 1979 to 1992 and returned in 1997 at the end of a civil war.

Sassou Nguesso was re-elected in March 2016 and could run again when his current term expires.

- In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been in power for 33 years. He took office in January 1986 after winning the war that ousted brutal dictator Idi Amin Dada.

He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016.

Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni (File: AFP)

- In southern Africa's tiny eSwatini, the former Swaziland, King Mswati III is the continent's last absolute monarch. He took the throne in April 1986, more than 32 years ago.

Topping 25 years

- In Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has ruled for 29 years after staging a coup in June 1989.

- Chad's Idriss Deby took over the northern nation in 1990, giving him nearly 28 years in power. He won a disputed fifth term in April 2016.

- The Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki has been in charge since independence in April 1993, making 25 years.

Isaias Afwerki

Isaias Afwerki (File: AFP)

Previous records

Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie holds the record for the longest time in power on the African continent. After reigning for 44 years, he was ousted in 1974.

Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled with an iron fist for nearly 42 years, was killed in 2011 after a protest movement turned into an armed conflict.

Gabon's Omar Bongo died in June 2009 after more than 41 years in power.

Angola's Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down in September 2017, having led his oil-rich country for 38 years.

Jose Eduardo Dos Santos

Jose Eduardo Dos Santos (File: AFP)

Gnassingbe Eyadema also ruled the west African country of Togo for 38 years from 1967 to his death in 2005. He was succeeded by his son Faure Gnassingbe.

Zimbabwe's "father of independence" Robert Mugabe was forced out in November 2017 after 37 years at the helm.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.