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If you could trade your president for another African leader, who’s your choice?

If you had the opportunity to choose another president from an African country to govern your country, who would you choose to bring about the change you desire?



Here at This Is Africa we are all about disruptive thinking, imagining a prosperous continent, innovation, and connecting with our audience. Of course, leadership is a major concern on the continent. Some countries have it good, while others have it bad. So here, we’re imagining what would happen to different countries if certain presidents headed them, could their social, and economic fortunes change for the better, or things would actually go downhill?

We are aware of the diversity, and that countries operate differently, the social, economic and geo-political factors and contexts vary, and that Africa is not a country, therefore the people are different and realities are dissimilar. We are however focused on the specific characteristics of these presidents, perceived or real.

Could Nigerians be interested in trading President Muhammadu Buhari, and who would the citizens rather have? If Nigeria traded President Buhari with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, would Baba Go-Slow, as Buhari is fondly called, be able to manage Rwanda? In some quarters there’s the likelihood that by the time Kagame goes back, his country would have regressed by 50 years, and Buhari might have appointed dead people into his cabinet. A little harsh on the Nigerian leader perhaps but his record in Nigeria is not impressive by any stretch of imagination.  On the other hand, because Nigerians love tough leaders, Kagame would fit in perfectly. It would be interesting to imagine how Kagame’s stance on corruption would look like. Would he order the arrest of all corrupt public officials, how could he deal with a complex issue such as the Boko Haram terror issue? Kagame would probably create special courts for corruption and ban the use of plastic bags in the country. But would he be able to solve Nigeria’s electricity problem? Nigeria’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport will be totally transformed to full functionality. Just maybe, Nigeria will live to its name of Giant of Africa.

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the opening ceremony of the Pre-Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) Expo, 22 July 2015. Photo: Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism (MEAACT)/Stuart Price/Flickr

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It would however be better for the good of the continent for Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Uganda’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe, Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila, and Congo’s (Brazzaville) Denis Sassou Nguesso to be given compulsory retirement and not be traded with presidents of other countries. We also thought, what if we had the chance to have the visionary leaders who were assassinated for their ideals? The clear favourite would undoubtedly be murdered Burkina Faso revolutionary Thomas Sankara, and any African country would not mind having Sankara for at least one year.

Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed who has made positive and radical changes should be traded rotationally in Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and other countries that desperately need peace and stability to transform into proper democracies. He’ll also visit the crimes of the past and give justice.

Countries such as Botswana and Namibia are better left alone. So far they have done well for themselves. But when it comes to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, and Angola, there are murmurs of discontent, so we ask, who would you want to trade your president with? Is the economic progress looking good or you would rather have a new leader?