Bassirou Diomaye Faye: List of 7 Africa’s Youngest Presidents, Military Leaders Emerge

Bassirou Diomaye Faye: List of 7 Africa’s Youngest Presidents, Military Leaders Emerge

  • The youths are taking over the helms of affairs in some African countries and they are commanding respect in the continent
  • Burkina Faso's 36-year-old President Ibrahim Traore and the new Senegal president Bassirou Diomaye Faye, make the list of Africa's youngest president and military leader
  • Interestingly, Faye is the only young democratic president as Traore, Mahamat Deby of Chad, and others took over power with coup journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.

Africa is gaining prominence in the continent, producing the youngest democratically elected presidents and military leaders to govern its countries.

Seen youngest African president, leaders emerge
Ibrahim Traoré of Burkina Faso, Faye of Senegal and Mahamat Deby of Chad make the list of Africa's youngest president and military leader. Photo credit: @jacksonhinklle, @DiomayeFaye, @AfricaFactsZone
Source: Twitter

This trend is replacing the experience of past years in which the continent was ruled by old and aged people who completed many terms of office.

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While African countries still have old presidents in office, there has been an offshoot of young but, brave minds holding the reins of power, Vanguard reported.

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As the continent has experienced those who took over power with guns, some were elected by the people, with the latest happening in Senegal.

Traditionally, African presidents have been elder statesmen entrenched in power for extended periods.

However, a new generation of young leaders is challenging the status quo by injecting fresh ideas, energy, and ambition into governance, BusinessDay report added.

This article presents you the current seven youngest African leaders under the age of 50 in the year 2024:

1. Ibrahim Traoré, Burkina Faso (Age 36)

Ibrahim Traoré has been the military and interim leader of Burkina Faso since 30 September 2022. Traoré ousted the former interim president Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba through a coup d’etat at the age of 34. Born on 14 March 1988, Traoré is a 36-year-old Burkinabe leader and currently the youngest serving president in Africa.

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2. Mahamat Deby, Chad (Age 39)

Mahamat Idriss “Kaka” Déby Itno is a four-star military general serving as the transitional president of Chad. He was born on April 4, 1984. He gained power as the president of the Transitional Military Council on 20 April 2021. He ascended into power when his father, the late Chadian President Idriss Déby, died in action while commanding troops in the Northern Chad offensive. He is the second youngest serving African leader.

3. Assimi Goïta, Mali (Age 41)

Assimi Goïta is a military officer who has been interim President of Mali since 28 May 2021. Goïta became the Malian leader following the military takeover he led against former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in 2020. He was the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People. Goita was born in 1983, and being 41, he is the third youngest serving African leader.

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4. Mamady Doumbouya, Guinea (Age 44)

Mamady Doumbouya is a military officer serving as the interim president of Guinea since 1 October 2021. Doumbouya led a coup d’état on 5 September 2021 that ousted the previous president, Alpha Condé. He is a member of the Special Forces Group of the Guinean military and a former French legionnaire. He was born on March 4, 1980, which makes him the fourth youngest leader on the African continent.

5. Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal (Age 44)

Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye is the fifth and current President of Senegal sworn in on April 2, 2024.

Before his election, Faye, 44, has never held public office and was relatively unknown until 2023, when the opposition leader Ousmane Sonko endorsed him to contest for the office.

Faye was released from prison less than two weeks before the March 24 election, along with popular opposition figure and mentor Ousmane Sonko, following a political amnesty announced by outgoing President Macky Sall.

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He is a lawyer, tax inspector, and politician who ran for the office of the president in place of disqualified candidate Ousmane Sonko. He was born on March 25, 1980. Faye is Africa’s youngest democratically elected president and fifth youngest leader on the dark continent.

6. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia (Age 47)

Abiy Ahmed is a politician serving as the third Prime Minister of Ethiopia since 2018. He has been the leader of the Prosperity Party since 2019. Ahmed is a computer engineer and military officer. He was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”. Ahmed was born on 15 August 1976, and he is the sixth youngest African leader.

7. Andry Rajoelina, Madagascar (Age 49)

Andry Nirina Rajoelina is a Malagasy-French politician and businessman who has served as president of Madagascar since 2019. He was president of a provisional government from 2009 to 2014 following a political crisis and military-backed coup. He once held the office of Mayor of Antananarivo for one year. Before venturing into politics, Rajoelina was a media and advertising entrepreneur. He was born on 30 May 1974 and is currently the seventh youngest African leader.

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Shehu Sani reacts to Bassirou Faye’s victory in Senegal earlier reported that former Kaduna Central senator, Shehu Sani said the struggle and the tenacity of the people of Senegal is inspiring in the emergence of 44-year-old Faye as president.

Sani said the victory of the opposition candidate, Faye, has cast a positive light on West Africa.


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