- In Africa, politicians fight for elected positions by tooth and nail, attracted by affluent lifestyles, huge allowances and medical cover
- Cameroon president Paul Biya takes home the highest salary, followed by King Mohammed VI of Morocco and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa
- King Mohammed VI’s office maintenance costs taxpayers US$960,000 daily
Africa has 54 countries, according to the United Nations (UN).
The countries are headed by presidents or prime ministers, depending on their constitutions. African leaders are paid handsomely if their salaries are anything to go by. Even though the continent is still developing, its leaders take home fat cheques.
In Africa, politicians fight for elected positions tooth and nail, attracted by affluent lifestyles, huge allowances and medical cover.
Who are the highest-paid African presidents? As reported by Business Insider, Cameroon president Paul Biya takes home the highest salary. He’s followed by King Mohammed VI of Morocco and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa.
1. Paul Biya
Paul Biya is the oldest serving president in Africa. The Cameroonian holds the record of the second-longest serving head of state having been in power since November 6, 1982. The 89-year-old previously served as the country’s prime minister from 1975 to 1982 before taking over the reins of power.
After assuming office, he introduced a one-party state system but bowed to pressure in the 1990s to pave way for multi-party democracy. Biya won the 1992 presidential election after attaining over 40 per cent of the votes.
2. King Mohammed VI
The Moroccan king ascended to power on July 23, 1999. Mohammed VI is a scion of the Alawi dynasty. He took over power following his father’s death, King Hassan II.
King Mohammed VI is paid US$$488,604 yearly. Besides the huge pay, Forbes estimates that his office maintenance costs US$960,000 daily paid for by taxpayers. The budget caters for his luxurious cars, personnel and clothes.
3. Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa replaced corruption-tainted Jacob Zuma as South African president in 2018. The former anti-apartheid activist is also the president of the African National Congress (ANC), the largest party in South Africa.
Between 2014 and 2018, he served as the deputy president under Zuma.
The politician who doubles up as a businessman is one of the richest men in the rainbow nation. His net worth is estimated at US$450 million. Ramaphosa’s annual pay is set at US$488,604.
4. Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta was elected Kenyan president in 2013. The outgoing Kenyan head of state was re-elected in 2017 on a Jubilee Party ticket. Uhuru is the son of Kenya’s founding president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who ruled the country from 1963 to 1978 when he died.
The Kenyatta family is ranked one of the richest in Kenya, with a net worth estimated at US$650 million. The fourth Kenyan president earns US$192,000 annually.
Uhuru will exit office after the Tuesday, August 9, 2022, General Election. According to the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, he is entitled to Sh34.7 million as a pension for the two terms he served. His annual gratuity will cost taxpayers Sh 72 million. He will enjoy a monthly house and transport allowance of Sh 332, 063 and Sh 216,563, respectively.
5. Yoweri Museveni
The Ugandan president has been in power since 1986 and is one of Africa’s longest-serving heads of state. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) leader scrapped presidential term limits in 2005, so he could vie for the top job again.
In 2017, his party members in parliament amended the presidential age limit, which had been set at 75 years.
The 77-year-old has reportedly amassed a fortune of US$13 billion during his 36-year rule. Museveni has been accused of suppressing opponents to prolong his stay in power.