top of page

The Long Game: African Leaders and the Art of Constitutional Manipulation





Context Setting the stage and providing background information

The visual Description and analysis of the visual representation

Observations Notable findings and insights derived from the visual

Omissions Elements or data points not included in the visual

The data Sources and details regarding the data used in the visual

Reflections Personal thoughts and considerations on the subject matter



Context


African leaders are known to manipulate constitutions to remain in power. This practice raises questions about the state of democracy and governance on the African continent, prompting closer examination of the phenomenon through visual representations like the one presented here.


The visual


This graphic is a timeline depicting how African leaders amend constitutions to extend their rule. The timeline is useful for helping us understand how often the manipulation of constitutions occurs in African countries."


Observations


The visual presents current African leaders and their constitutional changes aimed at prolonging their tenure. Some of the biggest offenders include President Mbasogo in Equatorial Guinea, President Paul Biya in Cameroon, and President Nguesso in the Republic of Congo. Additionally, Museveni, Guelleh, and Kagame are not far behind.


Omissions


While I initially planned to cover all leaders who manipulated constitutions, this proved impractical. I realized it would be much too lengthy, going back to figures like Gaddafi and Mugabe.


Not included in this visual are monarchic leaders such as King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who has been in power since 1999, and King Mswati III of Eswatini, in power since 1986. We also don't see President Afwerki of Eritrea, who has been in power for over 30 years with no term limits.


The data


Data and inspiration for this infographic came from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. They put together a great overview with a clear table and a map here. Wikipedia also aided in historical accuracy.


Reflection


What are your thoughts on this phenomenon? Does it appear to be a growing or diminishing trend?

Comments


ABOUT
VISIONAFRIQUE

We're here to help COMMUNICATORS better engage their audiences through captivating data visuals on Africa. Whether you're a journalist, researcher, or activist, we make the continent's sometimes overlooked issues a bit more newsworthy.

Follow me on my social networks

Facebook
X
LinkedIn

Join the growing community of Africa focused communicators that receive new data visuals to their inboxes every week!

SEARCH BY CATEGORY

COPYRIGHT

All visuals and content on VisionAfrique.com are provided for personal use. Feel free to share, tweet, and discuss!

However, all content and images remain the property of VisionAfrique.com. You may use a visual or two in your own publications, provided that you include a link back to the original post. Please refrain from removing any sources or logos from the visuals without written permission.

bottom of page