Africa Day: Young African leaders who have broken the glass ceilings

Gone are the days when age and experience were the primary qualifiers for leadership roles.

Ibrahim Traore, Abiy Ahmed, and Mokgweetsi Masisi

Today, a new generation of young African leaders is emerging, challenging traditional norms, and shattering the glass ceilings that once constrained their predecessors.

With determination, resilience, and innovative thinking, these trailblazers are not just breaking barriers but paving new paths for generations to come.

Ibrahim Traore - Burkina Faso

Age at Inauguration: 36


Term: 2022 - to present

Ibrahim Traoré is Burkina Faso's president, ascending to power at 36 years old after a coup on September 30, 2022. As a military officer, his leadership marks him as Africa’s and the world's youngest currently-serving leader​.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi - Botswana

Age at Inauguration: 55


Term: 2018 - Present

Key Achievements: Masisi's presidency focuses on diversifying Botswana's diamond-dependent economy, improving education, and increasing employment rates among the youth.

His leadership is marked by efforts to bolster the country's tourism sector and conservation efforts, particularly in protecting its elephant population.

Abiy Ahmed - Ethopia


Age at Inauguration: 47

Term: 2018 - to present

Abiy Ahmed, born on August 15, 1976, in Beshasha, Ethiopia, became the country's prime minister on April 2, 2018. Before entering politics, he joined the armed struggle at 15 and later served as a military intelligence officer.

He holds a degree in Computer Engineering, an MBA, an MA in Leadership, a Diploma in Cryptology, and a PhD in Peace & Security. Married to Zinash Tayachew, they have four children. Abiy's ascent to power has been significant for Ethiopia, marking him as one of the youngest leaders in Africa​.


President Faure Gnassingbé - Togo

Age at Inauguration: 39

Term: 2005 - Present

Taking office after his father's death, Gnassingbé has focused on political stability and economic reforms.

His tenure has seen improvements in infrastructural development and a push towards digitization of the economy. However, his presidency has also faced criticism and calls for democratic reforms.


Andry Rajoelina - Madagascar

Age at Inauguration: 47

Term: 2019 - Present

Andry Rajoelina became the President of Madagascar in 2019, having previously led a provisional government from 2009 to 2014.


Before his presidency, he served as the Mayor of Antananarivo. Rajoelina, a politician and businessman, initiated his political journey with a focus on governance and economic development, aiming to enhance Madagascar's standing both domestically and internationally​.


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