Compaore & Co.: Veteran African rulers and the inventions that found them in power. 7 were in before the Internet!

Some African leaders have been around longer than the Internet...and the Sony Walkman found and left them in office.

PROTESTERS in Burkina Faso have overrun the country’s Parliament, in a mass demonstration to oppose President Blaise Compaore’s attempt to extend his term limits.

He has already ruled 27 years, and the proposed constitution amendment would open the door to a possibility of three more five-year terms, or fifteen more years.

In total, that would possibly bring his rule to 42 years.  That would match Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s record before he was forced out and killed in 2011, and Gabon’s Omar Bongo had clocked 41 years before he died in 2009.

With the median age in Africa – the age that divides the population in two equal groups – being just 19.7 years, the youngest in the world, any president who has served more than 20 years is all the majority of his country’s citizens can remember.

But just to put some perspective on how long some African leaders have been in power, here’s a list of inventions that we now cannot imagine our lives without and the years they were invented – and the African presidents who have served even longer than the discoveries/innovations. 

Above the line is the invention, and the arrows below point to the president and the year they took power:

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