Former President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana is concerned about the continued stay in office of some of his former peers.
Mahama is questioning why octuagenarians and nonagenarians continue to run for and stay in political office despite the obvious challenges of capacity and health in some cases.
But who are Africa’s octuagenarian presidents?
There are a number of African leaders who are above 80 years and in active service.
Cameroon President, Paul Biya (89 years)
Namibian President, Hage Gottfried Geingob (81 years)
Ivory Coast President, Alassane Ouattara (81 years)
Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (80 years)
President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa (80 years)
Nigeria president, Muhamadu Buhari (80 years this year)
What Mahama said:
Speaking at a lecture on the topic ‘Africa’s strategic priorities and global role’ at Chatham House in the United Kingdom, on January 27, 2023; the former president said it was time to reverse that narrative.
“When you have a leader who is old, he has no business continuing to be a leader, it doesn’t matter where the person is coming from, whether Africa or wherever.
Mr Mahama added that: “When you have leaders who have problems in terms of thoughts, they have no business continuing being in leadership, especially when you have a continent with a population as youthful as Africa.
“60% of the African population is young. So why would 80-year-olds and 90-year-olds still want to lead? I was going to say they should be home taking care of their grandchildren, but I recently became a grandfather myself,” he said to laughter.