Africa’s second longest-serving leader, Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has unexpectedly announced he will step down in 2018, having been president since 1979. If dos Santos steps down in 2018, he would have been in power for 39 years. How sincere is dos Santos’ proposal?
Dos Santos reportedly told a congress of the ruling MPLA: “I took the decision to leave and end my political life in 2018”.
The news come as a big surprise considering African leaders have a tendency of changing their country’s constitution and extending presidential terms.
There have only been a handful of leaders who have voluntarily ceded power or resisted the temptation to change the constitution to allow them to contest again.
The Mo Ibrahim Achievement in African Leadership has in the past found it difficult to award the prize because of lack of suitable candidates.
The award is reserved for a democratically elected African leader who has served their constitutionally mandated term and stepped down at the end of the tenure and demonstrated exceptional leadership.
List of some African leaders who have stepped down after serving their constitutional terms.
Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Armando Guebuza of Mozambique
Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia
Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania
Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal