African Presidents: How long have they held office?

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By Salem Solomon and Casey Frechette

Africa has some of the world’s longest-serving heads of state. Leaders such as Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and José Eduardo dos Santos have been in power for over 30 years.

It’s also a continent of change. Across Africa, 25 presidents have held office for five years or less. A dozen presidents have assumed office in the last two years.

Use this list to explore how long each sitting president has held power.

BY THE NUMBERS

10.29

The average number of years sitting African presidents have held office

36

The number of years Africa’s longest-serving sitting president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, has held office

25

The number of African presidents who have served for five years or less

65

The average age of sitting African presidents

YEARS IN OFFICE COUNTRY

1979 Equatorial Guinea – Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
1979 Angola – José Eduardo dos Santos
1982 Cameroon – Paul Biya
1979 – 92 1997 Republic of Congo – Denis Sassou Nguesso
1986 Uganda – Yoweri Museveni
1987 Zimbabwe – Robert Mugabe
1989 Sudan – Omar al-Bashir
1990 Chad – Idriss Déby
1991 Eritrea – Isaias Afwerki
1994 Gambia – Yahya Jammeh
1975 – 91 2011 São Tomé and Príncipe – Manuel Pinto da Costa
1999 Djibouti – Ismaïl Omar Guelleh
1999 Algeria – Abdelaziz Bouteflika
2000 Rwanda – Paul Kagame
2001 DRC – Joseph Kabila
2004 Seychelles – James Michel
2005 Togo – Faure Gnassingbé
2005 Burundi – Pierre Nkurunziza
2006 Liberia – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
2006 Benin – Thomas Boni Yayi
2007 Sierra Leone – Ernest Bai Koroma
2008 Botswana – Ian Khama
2009 South Africa – Jacob Zuma
2009 Mauritania – Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
2009 Gabon – Ali Bongo Ondimba
2010 Ivory Coast – Alassane Ouattara
2010 Guinea – Alpha Condé
2011 Niger – Mahamadou Issoufou
2011 Comoros – Ikililou Dhoinine
2011 South Sudan – Salva Kiir Mayardit
2011 Cape Verde – Jorge Carlos Fonseca
2015 Nigeria – Muhammadu Buhari
2012 Senegal – Macky Sall
2012 Ghana – John Dramani Mahama
2012 Somalia – Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
2013 Kenya – Uhuru Kenyatta
2013 Mali – Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta
2013 Ethiopia – Mulatu Teshome
2014 Central African Republic – Catherine Samba-Panza
2014 Madagascar – Hery Rajaonarimampianina
2014 Malawi – Peter Mutharika
2014 Egypt – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
2014 Guinea-Bissau – José Mário Vaz
2014 Tunisia – Beji Caid Essebsi
2015 Mozambique – Filipe Nyusi
2015 Zambia – Edgar Lungu
2015 Namibia – Hage Geingob
2015 Mauritius – Ameenah Gurib
2015 Tanzania – John Magufuli
2015 Burkina Faso – Roch Marc Christian Kaboré

WHY ARE SOME COUNTRIES MISSING?
Morocco, Lesotho and Swaziland are monarchies and have no presidents. Libya’s government is, at present, disputed. In general, determinations on what qualifies as a country were based on the criteria outlined by Africa Check.

This project was originally published on Voice of America. Salem Solomon is a Web Producer for Voice of America. Casey Frechette is Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.