In recent years, there has been a subtle surge of politicians in their 30s and 40s assuming leadership roles in Africa; one of them is Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed, who, at 44, is the continent's youngest president; he is closely followed by Madagascar's Andry Rajoelina, who is 46. In 2018 and 2019, they were elected presidents of their respective nations.
Scroll down to reveal Africa's Top 10 Youngest Presidents (and Kings) as of 2021.
1. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia (Age: 44)
Abiy Ahmed is Africa's youngest president. He was born in Beshasha on August 15, 1976, and became Ethiopia's Prime Minister on April 2, 2018. He is married to Zinash Tayachew and they have four children together.
Abiy joined the Ethiopian National Defense Force as a military intelligence officer when he was 15 years old. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, an MBA, a master's degree in leadership, a diploma in cryptology, and a doctorate in peace and security.
2. Andry Rajoelina, Madagascar (Age: 46)
Andry Nirina Rajoelina was born in Antsirabe on May 30, 1974, and became President of Madagascar on January 19, 2019. In the year 2000, he married Mialy Razakandisa, with whom he had three children.
Rajoelina dropped out of college at the age of 19 to create Show Business, an events firm. His economic empire now includes radio and television stations.
Andry Rajoelina is Africa's second-youngest president.
3. Mswati III, Swaziland (Age: 52)
Mswati III is Swaziland's King, a title he inherited from his father, Sobhuza II. He is the Swazi Royal Family's head. He was crowned on April 25, 1986, at the age of 18, after being introduced as the crown prince in 1983.
Mswati III is Africa's youngest head of state at the moment.
He controls the kingdom as an absolute monarch with his mother, Ntombi Tfwala, as Queen Mother. Mswati III is noted for his polygamy, with 15 wives at the moment. Although he is well-liked and respected in Swaziland, his policies and extravagant lifestyle have sparked local demonstrations and worldwide condemnation.
4. Faure Gnassingbe, Togo (Age: 54)
Since May 4, 2005, Faure Gnassingbe has served as President of Togo. His father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, appointed him to the cabinet before his death on February 5, 2005.
On April 24, 2005, he was sworn in as President after winning a contentious presidential election. In 2010, Gnassingbé was re-elected for a second term.
According to official results, Gnassingbé won a third term in April 2015, defeating his primary competitor, Jean-Pierre Fabre, by a margin of around 59 percent to 35 percent.
5. George Weah, Liberia (Age: 54)
George Weah (Former professional footballer) was elected President of Liberia after defeating Vice President Joseph Boaka in the 2017 election. He is now Africa's fifth-youngest president.
6. Adama Barrow, Gambia (Age: 56)
Adama Barrow is the third and current President of Gambia. He is a Gambian politician and real estate entrepreneur (Also the fourth youngest president in Africa). After defeating Yahya Jammeh in a free and fair election, he was sworn into office in 2017.
7. Letsie III of Lesotho (Age: 57)
Lesotho's current king is Letsie III. When his father, Moshoeshoe II, was pushed into exile in 1990, he took over. In 1995, his father was briefly reinstated, but he died in a car accident in early 1996, and Letsie reclaimed the throne. The majority of King Letsie's duties as monarch of Lesotho are ceremonial, as he is a constitutional monarch.
8. Félix Tshisekedi, (Age: 57)
Since January 25, 2019, Félix Tshisekedi, a Congolese politician, has served as President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the age of 55, he accepted the role. He is the current leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the DRC's oldest and largest political party, following his late father Étienne Tshisekedi.
Tshisekedi ran for President of the United Democratic Party (UDPS) in the December 2018 general election, which he won amid allegations of violations from multiple election monitoring organizations and other opposition parties. After another opposition member, Martin Fayulu, appealed the outcome, the Constitutional Court of the DRC affirmed his victory, but Tshisekedi has been accused of forging a deal with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.
Since the DRC gained independence from Belgium in 1960, this election represented the first peaceful transfer of power.
9. Macky Sall, Senegal (Age: 59)
President of Senegal since April 2012, Macky Sall is a Senegalese politician. From April 2004 to June 2007, Sall served as Prime Minister of Senegal and President of the National Assembly (Senegal) under President Abdoulaye Wade.
From 2002 to 2008, he served as Mayor of Fatick, and then again from 2009 until 2012.
10. Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya (Age: 59)
Kenya's President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has been in office since April 9, 2013. He is Kenya's fourth president. Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, was his father. He is also Africa's tenth youngest president.
In the August 2017 general election, Uhuru was re-elected for a second term, receiving 54 percent of the vote. Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Wafula Chebukati announced the victory on national television. Uhuru's election, however, was challenged in Kenya's Supreme Court by Raila Odinga, his main rival. The court declared the election unlawful on September 1, 2017, and ordered a new presidential election to be held within 60 days of the verdict. Due to voter fatigue, apathy, and the opposition's boycott, a fresh presidential election was held on October 26th, which Uhuru won with 39 percent participation.
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