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African presidents and heads of state under 50

Apr 18, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

In recent years, Africa’s political landscape has undergone a significant transformation marked by the emergence of younger leaders assuming pivotal roles of authority.

This trend is particularly evident in the highest echelons of power, where presidents under the age of 50 are increasingly common. Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s recent election as Senegal’s president-elect has sparked a fresh conversation in contemporary West African politics.

Faye, a 44-year-old member of the banned African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics, and Fraternity (PASTEF), clinched victory in the presidential race as the candidate of an opposition coalition. He is set to succeed President Macky Sall on April 2nd.

These youthful leaders are challenging conventional norms by assuming top political positions at relatively young ages, with some even below 40.

This phenomenon is not limited to Africa; young leaders are emerging on the global stage across various political systems, from democracies to monarchies, and even in both Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Notable examples include Emmanuel Macron, the French president, whose election gave hope to young leaders worldwide; Gabriel Boric, a former student leader who became Chile’s president at age 35, and Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, aged 36, who represents both youth and gender diversity in leadership.

Below is a list of some of the youngest presidents and heads of state in Africa under the age of 50:

Ibrahim Traoré, Burkina Faso (Age 36)
Mahamat Deby, Chad (Age 39)
Colonel Assimi Goïta, Mali (Age 41)
Mamady Doumbouya, Guinea (Age 44)
Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal (Age 44)
Andry Rajoelina, Madagascar (Age: 49)
Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia (Age: 47)

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