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Insight & Analysis - July 6, 2022

10 Youngest Presidents in Africa in 2022

Approximately 65% of Africa’s population is under 35 years old. More than 35% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 35, making Africa the continent with the youngest population and youngest Presidents.

Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian President, is the youngest President in Africa at 45. He’s one of the politicians in their 30s and 40s who steadily rose to power in Africa in recent years.

Andry Rajoelina, a 47-year-old from Madagascar, is not far behind Ahmed. In 2018 and 2019, respectively, they both took office as presidents of their respective nations.

Here are 10 of the youngest presidents in Africa in 2022.

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1. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia – Age: 45

The youngest President in Africa is Abiy Ahmed. He was born in Beshasha on August 15 and took office as Prime Minister of Ethiopia on April 2, 2018. He has four kids and is married to Zinash Tayachew.

Abiy, who joined the army when he was 15, later rose to the rank of a military intelligence officer in the Ethiopian National Defense Force. He holds a PhD in Peace and Security, an MBA, an MA in Leadership, a Diploma in Cryptology, and a degree in Computer Engineering.

2.Andry Rajoelina, Madagascar – Age: 47

Andry Nirina Rajoelina has been the President of Madagascar since 2019. After a political crisis and military-backed coup in 2009, he served as President of a transitional administration until 2014. 

Prior to that, he was the mayor of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital and largest city, for one year. 

3. Évariste Ndayishimiye, Burundi – Age: 53

Africa’s third youngest President is Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi. On June 28, 2020, Ndayishimiye unveiled his first cabinet and officially began serving a seven-year tenure on June 18. 

He reduced the number of cabinet ministers from 21 to 15, mostly by nominating former regime hardliners for important positions. It has been noticed that Ndayishimiye’s administration was less exclusive than that of his predecessor.

4. Mswati III, Swaziland – Age: 54

Mswati III has been the King of Swaziland since he took the throne from his father, Sobhuza II. At 18, he was crowned on April 25, 1986, after being introduced as the crown prince in 1983.

He co-rules the nation as an absolute king alongside his mother, Ntombi Tfwala, who is currently Queen Mother. 

Mswati III is a proud polygamist with 15 wives as of writing this piece. Although he enjoys respect and popularity in Swaziland, his policies and extravagant lifestyle have sparked local unrest and drawn condemnation from outside.

5. Faure Gnassingbe, Togo – Age: 55

Since May 4, 2005, Faure Gnassingbe has served as the President of Togo. Before his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema passed on February 5, 2005, he had served in the government. 

On April 24, 2005, he won a contentious Presidential election and took the oath of office. In 2010, Gnassingbé was chosen to serve a second term.

According to official results, Gnassingbé won a third term as President in April 2015 by defeating his primary opponent, Jean-Pierre Fabre, by a margin of around 59 percent.

6. George Weah, Liberia – Age: 55

George Weah, a former professional footballer, won the 2017 election and was subsequently elected President of Liberia after defeating Vice President Joseph Boaka. 

He is now one of the sixth youngest Presidents in Africa and the first ex-pro footballer from an African nation to hold the position.

7. Adama Barrow, Gambia – Age: 57

The third and current President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow is a politician and real estate developer.

He became President in 2017 following his victory over Yahya Jammeh in a free and fair election.

8. Letsie III of Lesotho – Age: 58

Lesotho’s current monarch is Letsie III. He took over the reign from his father, Moshoeshoe II after he (the father) was pushed into exile in 1990.

Moshoeshoe II was momentarily restored in 1995, but he passed away in a vehicle accident in the early months of 1996, and Letsie took over once again. 

The majority of King Letsie’s responsibilities as Lesotho’s constitutional king are ceremonial.

9. Félix Tshisekedi – Age: 58

Félix Tshisekedi has led the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as President since January 25, 2019. 

At age 55, he accepted the position. He succeeded his late father, Étienne Tshisekedi as the head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the largest and oldest political party in DRC.

10. Macky Sall, Senegal – Age: 60

Senegalese politician Macky Sall has served as Senegal’s President since April 2012. 

From April 2004 to June 2007, Sall served as Senegal’s Prime Minister under President Abdoulaye Wade. He also served as the President of the National Assembly in Senegal from June 2007 to November 2008.

Also, Sall served as the mayor of Fatick city from 2009 to 2012, when he assumed the highest office the land.

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