Encourage leadership of ‘credible’ young Africans – Chike Ukaegbu

Ismail Akwei

Nigeria’s youngest presidential candidate, Chike Ukaegbu, has called for the inclusion of young Africans to take on leadership roles.

According to the former Nigerian presidential aspirant, more needs to be done to allow ‘credible’ young Africans to take on leadership positions in their respective nations to avoid plunging the continent into further difficulties.

“When I say young, not just any young, we need credible young people. That’s extremely important because you could have young leaders with the same mindset of rulers that have derailed the future of the continent and will be in more trouble,” said Chike in an interview with Ismail Akwei on The Qonversation.

“We have people who are Gen Z and younger who are also upcoming. So as we clamour and fight for the voice of the young person to be heard, our generation needs to understand that there are also people behind us and start now to groom them… our failure to incorporate young minds in decision-making is the fact that the older generation did not have a transition mechanism or a system to groom people who are credible and capable of leadership. It is important that we don’t pass on that problem to the next generation,” he added.

Chike became Nigeria’s youngest presidential candidate when he joined the 2019 presidential race at 35 years old after former Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari passed a bill that reduced the age requirement for presidential aspirants from 40 to 35.

Including Nigeria’s recent election of President Bola Tinubu aged 71 into office, the most recent African elections have seen the election of African presidents over the age of 40.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi aged 69, Felix Tshisekedi, aged 60 of the Democratic of Congo and Madagascar’s Andry Rajoelina, aged 49 all secured re-elections in their respective nations while Liberians swapped former president and football icon George Weah aged 57 for an older president in Joseph Boakai who turns 80 in November 2024.

More from Qonversations


Screenshot 2024 03 29 at 18.19.08

5G in Africa: What’s its potential, Selasi Ahorlumegah?


Screenshot 2024 03 26 at 01.25.35

Challenges and Joys of Being a Multi-Talented Artist with Antonia Azoitei


Screenshot 2024 03 19 at 11.17.17

Empowerment Through Mindfulness: A Conversation with Claire Thomas


Screenshot 2024 02 09 at 10.47.42

How to win elections in Africa – Chike Ukaegbu

Front of mind