Cameroon President Paul Biya, 85, who is now serving his seventh consecutive term, is the second longest serving leader in Africa with nearly 36 years in office.
The only current African president to have ruled longer is Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
He succeeded Ahidjo as president upon the latter’s surprise resignation in 1982 and consolidated power in a 1983–1984 fake attempted coup[ citation needed] where he eliminated all his rivals.
The aforementioned presidents are not the only ones running their country like its their private property. The continent is home to more than half of the top 20 longest-serving political leaders in the world leaders who’d do anything to cling to power. See the Top 10 Longest Serving Presidents in Africa, 2018
This list of Top 10 Longest Serving Presidents in Africa is a list of the current living longest ruling presidents (including royalty) in Africa.
1. Teodoro Obiang (42 years)
Obiang, 76, has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979 (39 years).
Obiang Teodoro came into power after he ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in an August 1979 military coup.
Currently, he is the longest serving president in Africa and the world and the second richest president in Africa.
2. Paul Biya (39 years)
Cameroon President Paul Biya, 85, who is now serving seventh consecutive term, is the second longest serving president in Africa with nearly 36 years in office. Biya succeeded Ahidjo as president upon the latter’s surprise resignation in 1982.
“Tyrants, the World’s 20 Worst Living Dictators”, a book published in 2006 by David Wallechinsky, ranked Biya with three others commonly in sub-Saharan Africa: the recently ousted Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, and King Mswati of Swaziland. Among the worlds worst living Dictators.
3. Denis Sassou Nguese (37 years)
Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguess has spent 34 years in office, but not in one go. He first served from 1979 to 1992 and returned in 1997 at the end of a civil war.
Sassou Nguesso was re-elected in March 2016 and could run again when his current term expires.
He is the third longest serving president in Africa.
4. Yoweri Museveni (36 years)
In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been the president of Uganda since 1986 (33 years). He took office in January 1986 after winning the war that ousted brutal dictator Idi Amin Dada.
He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016.
5. King Mswati III (35 years)
In southern Africa’s tiny eSwatini, the former Swaziland, King Mswati III is the continent’s last absolute monarch. He took the throne in April 1986, more than 32 years ago.
6. Isaias Afwerki (28 years)
Isaias Afwerki is the first President of Eritrea. The Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki has been in charge since independence in April 1993, making him the eight sixth serving president in Africa.
7. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (22 years)
Ismail Omar Guelleh is only but the second President of Djibouti, a position he has held since 1999.
Guelleh was first elected as President in 1999 as the handpicked successor to his uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who had ruled Djibouti since independence in 1977. Guelleh was re-elected in 2005, 2011 and again in 2016.
He is the 7th longest serving African president.
– Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie holds the record for the Longest Serving President in Africa. After ruling for 44 years, he was ousted in 1974.
– Libya’s Ghadafi ruled for nearly 42 years, before he was killed in 2011 after a protest movement turned into an armed conflict.
– Gabon’s Omar Bongo died in June 2009 after more than 41 years in power.
– Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos stepped down in September 2017, he ruled for 38 years.
– Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo ruled for 38 years from 1967 to his death in 2005.
– Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was forced out in November 2017 after 37 years at the helm.
– Chad’s Idriss Deby ruled for 31 years before his death in 19 April 2021.