Upon the conviction of Charles Taylor for war crimes, we take a look at some of Africa’s best and worst political minds.
Best: Nelson Mandela jOne of the most internationally recognized African leaders, Nelson Mandela is best known for his involvement in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and his subsequent election as the country’s first Black president in 1994.
Best: Kwame NkrumahhtghKwame Nkrumah served as the first president of the West African nation of Ghana and was one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity (predecessor of the African Union). Nkrumah was an outspoken proponent of Pan-Africanism.
Best: Alpha Oumar KonarehtgKonare served as president of Mali for two five-year terms and was chairperson of the African Union from 2003 to 2008. He is credited with boosting Mali’s economy and fostering democracy.
Best: Ellen Johnson-SirleafhtAfrica’s first elected female head of state, Sirleaf has been lauded for bringing stability back to Liberia after years of civil war. Sirleaf is also the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Best: Haile SelassiehSelassie ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He is credited with fending of an invasion by Italy and was influential in starting the Organization of African Unity.
Best: Samora MachelUntitled1222tfSamora Machel was the first President of Mozambique. He served the country as its president from the time it gained its independence in 1975 till he died in 1986. He was a military commander and a revolutionary socialist. He was a thoughtful leader and was respected by the people of Mozambique. His actions and ideology are helping many people of Mozambique even today.
Worst: Idi AminUntitled1222tAmin ruled Uganda as a ruthless dictator for eight years and is best remembered for his gross mismanagement of the country’s finances and vast human rights abuses.
Worst: Charles TaylorUntitled1222Taylor, who served as president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, was recently found guilty of crimes against humanity, including terrorizing the civilian population of neighboring Sierra Leone and recruiting children as soldiers.
Worst: King Mswati IIIUntitled122Africa’s last monarch, Mswati has banned all political parties in Swaziland and, despite the country’s economic crisis, recently asked his subjects to donate cows to be slaughtered for a mass feast to celebrate his birthday.
Worst: Robert MugabejfMugabe, 88, is currently in his 32nd year as president of Zimbabwe. Mugabe is widely criticized for his inadequate handling of the economy, human rights abuses and his refusal to step down from office.
Worst: Omar Al-BashirUntitledOmar Al-bashir is a more recent case of dictators. His biggest call to fame was in March 4 2009 when he was issued an arrest warrant. Omar has been charged with seven crimes against humanity. Omar planned to commit genocide against several ethnic groups such as the Massalit and Zaghawa groups, Omar is regarded by many today as one of the worst dictators of Africa.
Worst : General Sani AbachaUntitled1General Sani Abacha is one of the worst and though he only retained power for a scant five years, he
managed to commit a lifetime of crimes in this time period. He declared his government to be above the law and he essentially did whatever he wanted. Sanni Abacha has been described by political pundits as “the most brutal dictator of the west African powerhouse”. He ruled his nation with impunity.