As African nations embrace democracy more and more, we are seeing the rise of competent African Presidents. From Tanzania to Gambia to Algeria, Africa is showing that great leaders can do wonders for their countries. In this post, we present ten leaders who are taking their countries on a journey to development.
A key marker that will determine how fast that journey will be for Africa’s 54 states is the African Presidents. The vision and willpower of the leader of any country will determine the pace of growth of that country. It will also drive the erasure of negative elements of society, like corruption and crime.
In this post, we present ten of 2022’s best performing African presidents. For this list, we have considered many key factors which are important to national growth and development. Some of these factors include national performance in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, performance in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI), and performance in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). Other ranking metrics applied also include safety, economic growth and rule of law.
#10. Samia Suluhu (Tanzania)
Following President John Magufuli’s tragic passing in 2021, Samia Suluhu took over the reins of power in Tanzania. Needless to say, she has been a breath of fresh air. As one of the few Female African presidents, she remains an inspiration to many African women. Some of her achievements include:
- Improved security, making Tanzania the 7th safest country in Africa according to the World Population Review
- Government investment in education and health, leading to a rise in Human Development Index (HDI) from 0.529 in 2019 to 0.587 in 2021.
- Women empowerment, with close to 200,000 women joining various economic empowerment groups to get financial support in their economic undertakings.
- Economic growth of 5% in 2021, with a further 8% growth in GDP expected in 2022, according to the World Bank.
#9. Adama Barrow (Gambia)
After the despotic reign of Yahya Jammeh in the Gambia, Adama Barrow has risen to the occasion, delivering good governance to the people of Gambia. After winning reelection in December, he has set to work, delivering on his campaign promises.
Some of President Barrow’s achievements include:
- A +8.7 overall improvement in the Mo Ibrahim Index since 2016.
- A Safety Score of 69, moving up from 67.1 in 2021, making The Gambia the 4th most peaceful nation in Africa.
- An improvement in the CPI (Corruption Perception Index), rising from 30% in 2017 to 37%.
- A year-on-year GDP growth averaging 3%
#8. Moustafa Madbouly (Egypt)
Not to be confused with the President, Madbouly is the Prime Minister of Egypt, making him the head of government. He was appointed by President al-Sisi in 2018 to replace Sheri Ismail. Under Ismail, he was Minister of Housing and Urban Utilities. In this role, he oversaw Egypt’s famous Slum Resettlement Program.
Some of his achievements in office include:
- Comprehensive development schemes for villages in Upper Egypt
- GDP growth of 4-5% year-on-year
- HDI rise to 0.707 as at 2020, placing Egypt among countries with “High” quality of living for the first time.
- Dramatic rise in security, moving Egypt from 103rd to 65th most secure nation globally, according to the World Safety Index.
#7. Abdelmadjid Tebboune (Algeria)
Since taking office after his victory in the 2019 Presidential elections, President Tebboune has massively improved the lives of Algerians. His inclusive leadership style has revolutionized the infrastructure and health industries.
Some of his achievements include:
- Improvement in security, with an improvement in the Safety Index score from 78.21 in 2021 to 78.25.
- A 3.3 points rise in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance since he attained office.
- Over 100,000 lifted out of poverty in the last year, taking the total figure to 1.1 million since 2019,.
- Algeria’s Human Development Index remains steadily high at 0.748, one of Africa’s highest.
#6. Jose Maria Neves (Cabo Verde)
Returning to office as President after his stint as Prime Minister, President Neves has outperformed first-year expectations. His campaign promises emphasized the need for ‘strength and stability’ and undoubtedly, he has delivered.
His achievements in office so far are:
- Cape Verde now ranks just behind Mauritius as the second-best governed nation in Africa, according to the Ibrahim Index.
- Security has also improved in the nation, with a 1% rise in the nation’s Safety Index score.
- A 6% bounce in the tourist-based economy after a 14% contraction in 2020.
#5. Aziz Akhannouch (Morocco)
It is worth noting that almost all North African presidents make our list, and the Moroccan president is no exception. Since coming into office in 2021, PM Akhannouch has continued the good works of Prime Minister Othmani. Following in his predecessor’s footsteps, he has invested in the education, health, and transport sector.
Some of his achievements include:
- Corruption Perception Index of 41/100, one point higher than last year and a decade-high figure. This is as a result of the Moroccan Government’s Anti-corruption program.
- A high Human Development Index score of 0.686, placing it in the upper 20th percentile among African nations.
- Top 10 status in the Ibrahim Index for African Governance
#4. Kais Saied (Tunisia)
President Saied is a product of the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Since becoming Head of State in 2019, Saied has created reformative policies aimed at fast-tracking economic development.
The achievements of his administration include:
- His administration has improved the security situation of the country with the North-African nation registering a Safety score of 56. This ranks Tunisia among the top 10 most secure African nations.
- 4th in Africa in the 2020 Human Development Index with a rating of 0.74.
- Since 2014, Tunisia has also maintained an increase in its CPI score, registering a score of 44 in 2020.
- The Mo Ibrahim Foundation also ranks Tunisia as the 4th in Africa in the 2020 Ibrahim Index for African Governance.
#3. Hage Geingob (Namibia)
Since Hage Geingob took over the reins of power in March 2015, the outlook for Namibia has been majorly positive. As Head of State, he has revamped the educational sector, reformed the civil service, and bolstered infrastructure.
His achievements in office include:
- Namibia remains One of the four African nations with a CPI of at least 50 (51/100 and 57th in the world in 2020)
- GDP growth of 3% year-on-year
- In 2020, Namibia placed 6th in the Ibrahim Index for African Governance, maintaining a trend of steady improvement.
- Under his leadership, Namibia has become the 46th most secure nation worldwide, with a score of 62.1. It is also the 5th most secure in Africa.
- Human Development has also improved: Namibia moved into the Medium Development Category with a score of 0.646, Africa’s 12th highest.
- A road network that remains the best in Southern Africa and top 5 in Africa.
#2. President Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana)
Mokgweetsi Masisi was sworn in as new Botswana president and has eventually become one of the best African president. One thing you can always say about Botswana is that many of Africa’s struggles do not apply to this southern African nation.
However, this is not a coincidence, as Botswana’s Head of State has performed excellently. President Masisi served as Botswana’s education minister before taking the top job.
Some of his achievements include:
- Botswana is Africa’s most stable state, according to the BBC
- Under Masisi, it has retained its place as Africa’s second least corrupt nation.
- Botswana’s Global Safety Index is a high 79.6
- With a GDP per capita of almost $7,000, Botswana is one of Africa’s richest nations. The economy continues to expand, despite the harsh effects of the pandemic.
- Also, it has a 0.735 rating in the 2020 Human Development Index. This makes it one of the most developed nations in Africa.
#1. Prithvirajsing Roopun (Mauritius)
Arguably the best African President, President Roopun has Mauritius consistently outranking its peers in every metric. Two years after the crisis that rocked Ameenah Gurib-Fakim’s administration, President Roopun’s tenure as head of state has been nothing but good.
Since his entry into office, the island nation is rebranding to position itself as Africa’s top tourist destination. This repositioning has seen Mauritius rise to the top of all the positive indices.
Some of President Roopun’s achievements include:
- Mauritius is Africa’s top country in the 2020 Human Development Index, Corruption Perception Index, Security and Rule of Law Index, and also the Ibrahim Index for African Governance.
- After a 14.9% drop in its GDP in 2020, Mauritius has achieved a year-on-year GDP growth of 2%, almost fully recovering from the pandemic in just 2 years.
- Education has also become a top priority, with more international students visiting to attain tertiary education.
In spite of the many challenges that currently face African countries, these 10 African presidents are making giant steps towards tackling them. Also, there was a significant change between our previous ranking and the current one. This shows that a few years is enough for a visionary head of state to transform the fortune of their country. Nevertheless, which other leader do you think should make this list? Please let us know in the comments section.