Seven of them have led for more than 30 years. They are:
In power since: August 3, 1979, when he toppled his uncle in a military coup.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos (Angola) — 37 years
In power since: September 1979, when he was elected the ruling party’s leader upon the previous president’s death.
Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) — 36 years
In power since: April 1980, when his country gained independence after he coordinated a guerrilla war against white colonial rulers. He first was prime minister, then took the presidency in 1987 — elected by the national assembly — when a new constitution created the office to replace the prime minister’s office.
Paul Biya (Cameroon) — 34 years
In power since: November 1982, when the then-prime minister succeeded a president who resigned.
Denis Sassou-Nguesso (Republic of Congo) — 33 years, nonconsecutive
In power since: It’s complicated. He first was president from 1979 to 1992, when he was defeated in an election. He returned to power in 1997 during a civil war, eventually standing for and winning a presidential election in 2002.
Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) — 31 years
In power since: January 1986, when Museveni, a guerrilla leader and former defense minister, ousted a military regime.
King Mswati III (Swaziland) — 30 years
In power since: April 1986, upon turning 18, nearly four years after the death of his father, the previous king.
No popular election for the king: Swaziland is Africa’s last remaining absolute monarchy, which is hereditary. The country has an elected Parliament, and Mswati chooses a prime minster from among the elected members.
19 January 2017 | 8:13 pm
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