Term Limits: What Africa Should Do

Published on 3rd January 2018

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni’s  signing of  the bill that removes a presidential age limit of 75 from the country's constitution into law effectively allows the 73-year-old president to run for a sixth term in 2021. The Ugandan Constitution, enacted in 1995, previously prohibited anyone younger than 35 or older than 75 from serving as president. This has met widespread opposition from civil rights activists, opposition politicians and religious leaders in the country who perceive it to have been passed against the wishes of majority of Ugandans.

Many African leaders use legal loopholes, undemocratic constitutional changes, restrictions on political competition and force to cling to power. The earlier the continent thinks long term and works towards placing national interests above personal interests, the sooner it will realize its inherent greatness. Personalization of power may have an allure of its own, but no one rules forever.  The best way to guarantee development is to institutionalize national values and interests.

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