Good governance is gaining major ground in Africa. It is occurring at a slow pace, but at least it is happening. It is no “cliche” that some African leaders are becoming increasingly democratic and are showing a meaningful step in improving their governance. Some of them have become more considerate of their citizens’ values and are showing more respect for human and civil rights.
But, among some of the great leaders, the villains still linger— and there is a handful of them. This year I have conducted extensive research and personally reached out to young activists to nominate some of the worst African leaders of 2019. I received more than 400 replies, and based on those answers, here are the seven worst African leaders of 2019.
1. Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea 🇬🇶.
Teodoro Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving leader. He has been President for one of West Africa’s tiny, oil-rich nation since 1979. He came to power by overthrowing his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in a bloody coup d’état. Since then, Obiang has declared himself King of this tiny, oil-wealthy nation, and by recently appointing his beloved son as a Vice President.
Equatorial Guinea has one of the largest per capita revenues in the world, but this doesn’t translate into prosperity for its citizens. Why? Obiang and his family are mismanaging the country’s assets, while the poor people suffer. The country is ranked very poorly in the United Nations human development index. Under Obiang’s leadership, the vast majority of Equatorial Guineans rarely have access to fresh drinking water, electricity in some parts of the country, jobs, health care, etc. Meanwhile, the Vice President, who happens to be the first son of the president, spends millions of dollars on lavish lifestyles and has no conscience for his fellow Equatorial Guineans.
2. King Mswati III, King of eSwatini 🇸🇿.
Africa’s last supreme monarch rules over a nation (kingdom) which has one of the world’s highest HIV rates with over thirty-five percent of adults. In eSwatini, the average life expectancy is the lowest in the world at 33 years. Seventy percent of…