‘Africa needs younger leaders’ – Mo Ibrahim

By | May 22, 2014

via ‘Africa needs younger leaders’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 22, 2014 by Ndamu Sandu

SUDANESE-BRITISH billionaire Mo Ibrahim yesterday said the young generation should be in leadership to drive African economies as they have the energy and power, in remarks aimed at President Robert Mugabe.

The philanthropist, who was a panellist on the Leadership for the Africa We Want session in Rwanda, said young people on the continent should be given the task to lead.

He said the average age of Presidents on the continent was about 63 years.
“We are the only continent where we have a President at 90 years starting a new term. Are you crazy or not? We see people in wheelchairs unable to raise hands standing for elections. This is a joke,” he said amid thunderous applause.

“You are right to laugh; the whole world is laughing at us.”

Mugabe celebrated his 90th birthday in February. He will be 94 years when he completes his term in 2018.  Mugabe is currently in Singapore for “routine medical check-up”.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won elections and was sworn in in a wheelchair in April.

Ibrahim went for the jugular saying bigger economies like the United States had entrusted its future in President Barack Obama, who will be turning 53 years in August this year.

“Why do bigger countries entrust their economies in the hands of those in the 40s? We pick people in the 90s to lead us. To lead us where? To the grave?”

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki said there was need for critical self-assessment, but there was no peer review among leaders as they were afraid to do so.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said succession was important, but had been reduced to an end in itself “to the extent that if you are in power and you did nothing, but have a successor, you are good”.

“We put succession plans on Presidents saying when are you going? Will you go? It shouldn’t be like that,” Kagame said.

Mugabe recently said that he did not have a successor because people had to choose one.

Yesterday’s high-level event is part of the meetings held during the annual indaba of the African Development Bank Group.

This year’s annual meetings opened on Monday and will close tomorrow in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

15 thoughts on “‘Africa needs younger leaders’ – Mo Ibrahim

  1. muntu

    Well Kagame, it shouldn’t be like that but it’s your behavior that makes it like that. Such questions are not asked elsewhere because their leaders don’t cling onto power like you and your ilk.

  2. Petal

    Totally disagree with Mo Ibrahims concept of awarding a hefty sum of money for a leader who tries to be an ambassador on the continent. Festus Mogae was the first receipient of this money then others like Chissanno of Mozambique, Thabo Mbeki and Kofi Anaan were eyeing the prize money – tryig their hand at been peacemakers when in actual fact they are not and are just eying the huge sum of money – it is wrong – it is like bribing when there are people on the continent who could benefit from the money if he offered the prize to an organisation or a child who was excelling on the contient it could be a different story but not give money to leaders who have earned lot while in leadership positions

  3. NBS

    Yes! Not 90 year old men who take their nation down the road to destruction and who live in the past. We need Godly leaders not necessarily young leaders.

  4. Mike Nyathi

    What was that little clown Mbeki doing at an event like this? Did he clap too? He has done more to keep Mugabe in power than most. And Kagame? Worse than Mugabe. He wants to rule Rwanda and murder his opponents till kingdom come.

  5. Ruramai

    Funny Mbeki talks about self assessment. Having worked tirelessly to ensure Mugabe stays on he should critically assess himself.

  6. Petal

    You are right to laugh; the whole world is laughing at us.” lets all laugh now ha ha aha ha ha ha ha ha!

  7. Petal

    Would be interesting to know Mo Ibrahims thoughts about this all useless Club AU giving immunity to these thieving scumbags that litter the continent?

  8. Kurt

    The fact that Mbeki is given a voice at this forum has made it a farcical monkey show.

  9. Straight Shooter

    The 90-year gukurahundi is the oldest President on planet earth!!

    1. Petal

      Bob must be in the World Guiness Book of Records as being the oldest President on the planet!

  10. Petal

    Who attends all these meetings probably not the ordinary people – its a closed shop- Mo Ibrahim needs to speak to the ordinary people on the contient and get their views. and as for this Mbeki he is just trying to get attention like the rest of them,jumping on the gravy train like the Kofi Anaans who did nothing when he was secretary General and now wants to come back as an ambassador for africa because he is looking for a salary
    living the high life, putting up in posh hotels and wining and dining until they are overweight

  11. Jacques

    I like some “intellectuals” like Muntu and Petal who jump on the Western so called standards of Democracy. When will you Africans ever be creative?…define your destiny and decide how you want to reach there. Here you are- talking about other people’s models that may not necessarily work in Africa. And your failure to understand their interests under the guise of educating you about democracy and when you do not follow they undermine your leadership to the point of instigating instability-watch out those dudes!!

  12. Jacques

    here is what we should be discussing, Leders who delivers period. To me if you are delivering I wouldn’t care when you are leaving the office–when you start messing up or stealing public money, then you should go!!I personally attended the AfDB annual meeting in Kigali-My great God what Paul Kagame has done for Rwanda is amazing..You may think this country did not go through what we know-the 1994 genocidets are clean, economy growing at an average of 8%, happy faces, new buildings….A President like him should Stay!! WE need more Kagames in Africa

  13. Jacques

    And I agree with Kagame, “It should be about what you leave behind for your successor to build on and not succession for the sake of it!!! Tanzania’s Mkapa did very well and was succeeded by Kikwete who according to Tanzanians screwed up in many ways during his 2 terms. keep your finger crossed so that this beautiful country gets a good leader come October 2015, otherwise it will be succession for the sake of it and TZ is likely to go under water-God forbid!!!!


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