…And we only pick up men at 90s to lead us. To lead us where? To the grave?
Mo Ibrahim said this during a panel discussion in Kigali, Rwanda alongside Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, William Ruto and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“Look at the average age of our presidents, it’s about 63/64 years old…we are the only continent in the world where we have presidents at 90 years old starting new terms. You guys are crazy or what? (audience laughs),” said Mo Ibrahim.
Mr Mohammed Ibrahim is the Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The renowned businessman and philanthropist also condemned the sit-tight attitude of many African leaders while encouraging young Africans to emulate happenings around the world.
“We see people in wheelchairs unable to raise hands standing for election. This is a joke; you are free to a laugh…the whole world already laughing at us.
“The US, the most important country in the world, like it or not…Obama who is half African anyway was 46, 47 years. If Obama was in Kenya, what would he be doing? He would be driving bus maybe.
“And he was not the youngest president. (Bill) Clinton and (JF) Kennedy were even younger. ”Why these big countries lead… men in their 40s entrust their nuclear weapon, economies, all resources
“And we only pick up men at 90s to lead us. To lead us where? To the grave?"
This message from Mo Ibrahim was clearly directed at the youth to take action and play an active role in determining the future of the continent.