This morning I published an op-ed in Canada’s The Globe and Mail on the generation gap between Africa’s rulers and the median age of their citizens. It is something I haven’t really seen debated in main stream media and thought was well worth commenting on. It should concern everyone on the continent that our rulers are older than Africa’s average life expectancy of 58. It should also concern us all that they fall within the eldest 3% of the continent’s population. I welcome your feedback on the piece.
If ever there was a demographic equivalent to the Marianas Trench, it is the chasm between Africa’s median age and that of its rulers. According to the Population Reference Bureau, 41 per cent of Africa’s billion citizens are under the age of 15. There are almost as many youth on the continent as the combined population of Canada, United States and Mexico. In all, a staggering 70 per cent of the population is under 30.
The leaders, however, almost all fall within oldest 3 per cent of Africa’s population, those over the age of 65. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe (88) and Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki (80) are among the many leaders who are defying the continent’s average life expectancy of 58.