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Africans are overly tolerant of ‘leaders for life’– Kofi Annan

Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan says some African leaders perpetuate themselves in office because the citizens are too tolerant and respectful of their leaders.

He said it is unthinkable that in a nation of millions of people, only one person will lead for decades without giving chance to others.

Speaking at a programme held in his honour at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra Thursday, the former UN chief said the courtesies of Africans continue to be abused by their leaders.

The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient recounted his experience at an African Union (AU) Summit where he overheard two leaders debating who had overstayed in power.

“One said I’m 32 [years] and the other I’m 32 and half,” he narrated, adding he thought they should be ashamed of themselves but they were not.

Mr Annan said the ‘Leaders for life’ syndrome continue to be entrenched because the leaders have created an environment that stifles opposition.

The African continent has come under focus over the years because of issues of poverty, lack of education and seeming powerful leaders some of whom abuse their power.

At the turn of the 21st Century, there were more than 10 African leaders who had over stayed in power.

They include Rwandan President, Paul Kagame who rode on the back of the country’s Genocide 1994 to come to power and Republic of Congo’s Denis Nguesso who is the longest serving ruler in Africa. Mr Nguesso came to power in 1979.


About Eugene Agyei Brown

Passionate writer. Unrepentant Critic. I want to write to impact the world. Forgive me if I become too Get in touch with me on facebook and lets have a chat.

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