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Insight & Analysis - September 12, 2022

5 Poorest Presidents in Africa

It’s shocking to know that some of the poorest Presidents in the world come from Africa. It is common knowledge that presidents have hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank. However, this is not always the case.

When compared to their contemporaries, several presidents in Africa are experiencing financial difficulties.

Over 50 nations make up the continent of Africa, yet only five—South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya—account for more than half of its overall income, according to Visual Capitalist.

Some of the poorest Presidents in Africa are leaders of some of the underdeveloped countries on the continent. 

The Russian-Ukraine war, is said to plunge an additional 1.8 million people in Africa into poverty. Let’s take a look at five poorest Presidents in Africa.


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1. Adama Barrow, Gambia

Gambia’s third and current President, Adama Barrow is worth an estimated $1 million. The president of the West African country receives $3,583 per month.

In the early 2000s, Barrow relocated to London, where he worked as a security guard while pursuing real estate credentials. In 2006, he returned to the Gambia and established Majum Real Estate.

Barrow joined the opposition United Democratic Party as its treasurer before rising to lead it in September 2016.

After that, he ran for the position and won a vote that the president in office refused. Only after intense international pressure was applied was Adama Barrow authorised to assume power.

2. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, Angola

Joo Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço has been Angola’s President since September 26, 2017. His monthly basic pay is $168.50, and his net worth is thought to be approximately $1 million.

Prior to that, he served as the minister of defense. He emerged as the leader of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in September 2018.

Since taking office as president, he has fought corruption with vigour and been open about his compensation. 

3. Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopia

Sahle-Work Zewde is the first woman to female President of Ethiopia.

She makes $3,686.17 a month in income and is thought to be worth less than $1 million.

She is a professional diplomat who was unanimously chosen as president of the Federal Parliamentary Assembly on October 25, 2018.

Prior to taking office, Zewde held the positions of Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union and Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to the African Union.

4. Evaristo do Espírito Santo Carvalho, Sao Tome and Principe

Since September 3, 2016, Evaristo do Espirito Santo Carvalho has been the president of Sao Tome and Principe. He is worth an estimated $1 million-$5 million.

He previously served the nation on two separate occasions as prime minister. From 7 July 1994 to 25 October 1994, he served as Prime Minister of Sao Tomé and Principe. From 26 September 2001 to 28 March 2002, he had the opportunity to do so once more under the Independent Democratic Action (ADI) political group. 

He has established a reputation as a public servant who seeks to improve the lives of many people, not just himself.

5. Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundi

President of Burundi and longtime political power player Pierre Nkurunziza. He is also well-known for working as the CNDD-deputy FDD’s secretary-general in 1998. His net worth is reportedly between $1 million to $5 million.

After announcing his intention to seek a third term, he was forced to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon due to political unrest and persistent protests. In the first two days of the protests, at least six deaths were reported.

Many radio stations were shut down by the government, and leaders of the opposition and civil society were detained.

Despite the controversies surrounding Nkurunziza, it is believed he’s not been dubious with funds, considering his net worth.


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