Whoever said the youths are the leaders of tomorrow obviously haven’t been to Africa. Here are the top 10 oldest African presidents.
1. Paul Biya
Age: 87 Years
Paul Biya has been the President of Cameroon since November 1982. At the age of 87 and still in power, Paul Biya is the oldest president in Africa and the oldest president in central Africa. He is also the second-longest ruling president in Africa (after Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea), and the longest-ruling non-royal leader in the world.
Read Also: Meet The Most Educated Presidents in Africa
2. Alpha Condé
Age: 82 years
Alpha Condé was elected as President of Guinea in 2010. This was after two unsuccessful attempts to outrun President Lansana Conté in the 1993 and 1998 presidential elections. When he took office that December, he became the first freely elected president in the country’s history.
Currently Alpha Conde is the 2nd oldest president in Africa and the oldest president in West Africa.
3. Alassane Ouattara
Country: Ivory Coast
Age: 79 years
Alassane Dramane Ouattara has been President of Côte d’Ivoire since 2010. At 79, Alassane Ouattara is the third oldest president in Africa and the second oldest president in west Africa.
4. Teodoro Nguema Mbasogo
Country: Equitorial Guinea
Teodoro Nguema has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979. He ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup.
He is the longest serving president in Africa and the second longest-serving non-royal national leader in the world (after Paul Biya of Cameroon).
5. Emmerson Mnangagwa
Emmerson Mnangagwa is serving as the third and current President of Zimbabwe since November 2017.
A longtime ally of his predecessor Robert Mugabe and a senior member of the ruling ZANU–PF party, Mnangagwa served as First Vice President of Zimbabwe from 2014 until his dismissal in early-November 2017, which prompted a coup d’état that ousted Mugabe On 21 November 2017, (a removal recognised in a statement by the
African Union, not as a “coup”, but as a legitimate expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people).
Emmerson Mnangagwa is the fifth oldest president in Africa and the oldest president in Southern Africa.
6. Muhammadu Buhari
Age: 78 years
Nigeria’s Buhari came into democratic power in 2015. He had been unsuccessful in earlier bids for the presidency in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections. The President previously served as the nation’s head of state from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after he took power in a military coup d’état.
In February 2019, Buhari was re-elected, defeating his closest rival former Vice President Atiku Abubakar by over 3 million votes.
Buhari is also one of the longest serving Nigerian president
7. Nana Akufo-Addo
Age: 76 years
Nana Akufo-Addo became the president of Ghana in 2017 after he defeated John Dramani Mahama in the first round (winning with 53.85% of the votes), which marked the first time in a Ghanaian presidential election that an opposition candidate won a majority outright in the first round. Nana was again re-elected in the 2020 general elections (winning with 51.59% of the vote) defeating John Dramani Mahama.
8. Yoweri Museveni
Age: 76 years
Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni was involved in rebellions that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Ami and Milton Obote. He was therefore seen by Ugandans as a hero. But the 73-year-old has since played fast and loose with the rules, scrapping Presidential term limits in 2005 to enable the extension of his rule. On 16 January 2021, the electoral commission of Uganda announced that Museveni won re-election for a sixth term with 58.6% of the vote.
9. Abdelmadjid Tebboune
Age: 75 years
Tebboune took over from former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who served as President of Algeria for almost 20 years, from 1999 to his resignation in 2019 and former Acting Head of State Abdelkader Bensalah. Previously, he was Prime Minister of Algeria from May 2017 to August 2017. In addition, he was also Minister of Housing from 2001 to 2002 for a year and again from 2012 to 2017 for 5 years.
Currently Tebboune is the ninth oldest President in Africa, and the oldest president in North Africa.
10. Ismail Omar Guelleh
Age: 73 years
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh was first elected as President in 1999 as the handpicked successor to his uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who had ruled Djibouti since independence in 1977. Guelleh was re-elected in 2005, 2011 and again in 2016; Guelleh has been characterized as a dictator, and his rule has been criticized by some human rights groups.
Currently Ismaïl Omar Guelleh is the oldest president in East Africa and the tenth oldest president in Africa.
Jorge Carlos Fonseca – Cape verde, Age: 70 years
Jorge Carlos Fonseca took office as President on 9 September 2011, becoming Cape Verde’s fourth president since independence in 1975. He was re-elected again in 2016.
Bah Ndaw – Mali, Age: 70 years
Bah Ndaw is a Malian military officer and politician. He has been president of Mali since 25 September 2020. Between May 2014 and January 2015 he was Minister of Defense.
Mahamadou Issoufou – Niger, Age: 69 years
Issoufou was the prime minister of Niger from 1993 to 1994, president of the National Assembly from 1995 to 1996, and he has been a candidate in each presidential election since 1993. He led the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya), a social democratic party, from its foundation in 1990 until his election as president in 2011. In February 2016 Issoufou won a second term in seat with 92.5% of the votes. He has been described by The Economist as “a staunch ally of the West”.