London––South Africa phenomenon and African top most musician Ms. Yvonne Chaka Chaka said Africa needs young leaders in African countries to help shape the future of the continent. “We need young leaders to change status quo.”
“Africa needs great leaders, and we do have great leaders by the way, we just need the political will and we need young leaders to change the status quo. We need young leaders to shape the Africa they want,” she told BBC HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur.
Ms. Chaka Chaka questioned why the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are being approached for aid money when the continent has mineral wealth and some of the countries’ leaders are richer than the places they govern.
Ms. Chaka Chaka, best known as as the Princess of Africa has recorded music for over three decades and during that period became a global icon.
Appearing on the BBC’s Hardtalk show with veteran journalist Stephen Sackur, Ms. Chaka Chaka maintained that there are leaders in some African nations that are richer than the countries they lead and yet they run to the IMF and World Bank for international aid.
See more clips at HARDtalk’s website or the on-BBC World News and the BBC News Channel.
Several African leaders have been in power for decades and they continue to perpetuate themselves in power. Among them include the following:
42:001. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo – Equatorial Guinea (35 years)
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz
After ousting his uncle, Masie Nguema Biyongo Ndong, in a violent 1979 coup Teodoro Obiang Nguema Basongo took over as head of the Revolutionary Council (which governed over post-coup) Equatorial Guinea.
He sat is Chairman in the council in the same year when his uncle was convicted and executed for crimes including mass murder, genocide, embezzlement of public funds and treason. It wasn’t until 1982 that he officially became sworn in as president.
President Dos Santos has been President of Angola since 1979, four years after the country attained its liberation.
While being praised for his role in transforming the country’s oil sector, he’s been similarly criticized for leading one of the continent’s most corrupt regimes. While 70% of Angola’s population live on less than $2 a day, his daughter Isabel has, through her political connections, gone on to become one of the richest Africans and certainly the youngest billionaires.
3. Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe (34 years)
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe in 2008. Photo: Getty/AFP
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is probably the most polarizing in the list. While receiving intense criticism from the West, he also has fierce support from Africans within and outside Africa for his outspoken defiance of Western control and influence.
Currently, his wife Grace is believed to being in the running as her husband’s successor.
4. Paul Biya – Cameroon (32 years)
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya. Photo: Getty
Prior to the commencement of his presidency in 1982, Paul Biya served as Prime Minister under Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Biya has held on to power through political reforms like a single-party system in the 80s (which he abolished under pressure in the 90s), high-margin election victories (which have consistently been suspected as fraudulent) and has maintained a close relationship with France, the former colonial master.
5. Yoweri Museveni – Uganda (28 years)
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Photo: Forbes.com
President Yoweri Museveni has been at the helm of Uganda’s government since the toppling of Idi Amin and Milton Obote (1986).
He has been in the limelight this year mostly for his government’s conservative stance on homosexuality, with draconian laws and sever punishment for “offenders”. He is also known for leading Uganda to economic stability and one of the continent’s most successful HIV/Aids programs.
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters
In 1989, Brigadier Omar al-Bashir led a bloodless military coup which toppled Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and his government as the country faced nationwide famine
Sinoe then, he has been elected three times in dubious elections. In 2009 he became Africa’s first sitting president to be indicted by the ICC for directing mass killings, rape and torture in Darfur.
7. Idriss Déby – Chad (23 years)
Idriss Déby took over Chad’s presidency in 1990 after a rift formed between him and the then-president Hissene Habré. This rift resulted in Déby’s exile in Libya where he garnered support from both Libya and Sudan. He used this support to launch an attack against President Habré. A year later, Déby’s troops marched into the capital, N’Djaména unopposed.
8. Isaias Afwerki – Eritrea (23 years) Africas muplimay emails from me.
Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki. Photo: Natna
Since Eritrea’s independence in 1993, President Isaias Afwerki has held on to the top office.
Eritrea is a one-party state. Afwerki’s People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) is the only party allowed to participate in the country’s politics.
Mr Afewerki has been criticised for failing to implement democratic reforms. His government has clamped down on its critics and has closed the private press.
President Jammeh turned 49 years old this year. He has ruled over The Gambia since 1994, first as chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) and was sworn in as president two years later, meaning that he took up office at the age of 31.
In his tenure, he has not been one to shy away from controversy. He has been an outspoken critic of homosexuality and, in 2008, announced that his government would introduce legislation against homosexuals “stricter than those of Iran”. He has also claimed the ability to cure ailments such as AIDS and asthma through the use of natural herbs.
10. Denis Sassou Nguesso – Republic of Congo (17 years)
Dennis Sassou Nguesso. Photo: Reuters
President Nguesso has had two tenures as head of state in the Republic of Congo. The first one was from 1979 to 1992 where he led the single-party regime of the Congolese Party of Labor (PCT).
He returned to power at the end of the 1997 civil war where his forces ousted President Pascal Lissouba.