African leaders beyond the age of 80 have no business clinging to power, former President John Dramani Mahama has said.
He said this when he addressed a gathering on the topic ‘Africa’s strategic priorities and global role’ in the United Kingdom, on January 27, 2023.
According to him, such old leaders quickly lose their thoughts and cannot make meaningful decisions to help progress their countries.
Mr Mahama said this when he was asked about his views on old leaders still holding on to power in Africa.
“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,” he noted.
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”.
There are a number of African leaders who are above 80 years and in active service.
Some of them are 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) among others.