n African Renaissance - Life presidency in Africa : a historical perspective

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


The recurrent attempts by African leaders to prolong their stay in office have become one of the defining features of the African continent. The frequency of these incidents creates the impression that such a practice is an African invention. The article debunks this perception by tracing its remnants from the Roman Republic. One of the key questions that beg for attention is: why did African leaders embrace undemocratic practices and why are they reluctant to relinquish power? This is a complex question which cannot be adequately addressed in a single sentence. The primary purpose of this article is to address this question by providing a historical account on how the practice started and how it has evolved over time and in different political contexts. Using examples from different parts of Africa, the article provides broad explanations for the practice which are buttressed by specific examples. It then proposes the way forward.

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