Typically it’s the older, more experienced (and usually more cynical) people who run for political office. There has never been an American president younger than 42, and even that was Theodore Roosevelt way back in 1901. In fact, only 9 U.S. Presidents have been under the age of 50 at the time of their inaugurations. Political apathy is prevalent among most young people in developed nations, and nowadays it’s uncommon to see anyone under 35 hold offices in most places in the world. However, there are of course some exceptions. Come to think of it world global economy today has been far driven by the young minds with their speed dynamism so who said they cannot transfer same to leadership. It is said that if the world wants to see an era of harmony and well being in the future, it must look out for the children of the present because the future of every nation lies in the hand of the youths.
There are the bright few who at a young age have the drive to change their society from the inside, and who realize that the way to do that is by being elected to government. The Young Elected Officials Network is an organization in the United States which helps support politicians under 35 through the sharing of ideas and policies. The Young Global Leaders Forum, which is part of the World Economic Forum, has 800 members from 68 countries around the world. Members of groups like these are often inspirations and have contributed greatly to their communities. Its growing trends like these that demonstrate that young people can be just as politically aware, and interested in making a difference, as their older counterparts.
In so many countries of the world especially the developing nations, the youths are the most abandoned. And this should not be the case because, a nation that forgets their youths are paving way for an uncertain future. Calling back to mind our exclusive discussion with a Nigerian sound legal luminary Barr Edward Omaga, he said “Take it or leave it, the most suffering population of Nigeria are the youths especially in this age when unemployment has become an enigma that has defied all solutions. The best statistics to quantify the Nigerian unemployment still remains the recent National Immigration service job which saw over 20 people dead via stampede sometime ago. Imagine over 5 million unemployed responding to job opportunities that are less than 2500. Of cause, it will surely lead to stampede and any situation that results to stampede has gotten out of hand.”
Furthermore, making an allusion from one of our stories titled “the nation that abandoned her youths” thus arguing that the Nigerian youths have been suffering in silence while their leaders mortgage their future in their bank accounts. The Nigerian leadership has demonstrated sheer wickedness on their youths to the point of agitation. Academic strikes and exorbitant cost of education are one of those inhuman punishments that the government of the day has always used to express their bitterness on their youths not minding that he who closes a school door opens a prison. For them, the thought of the present is not consoling at all as the thought for the future sends signals of coldness, uncertainty and anxiety down their spines.
It’s high time, we reviewed Nigeria and politics of aging which I believe is disfranchising the youths of this nation. This gerontocracy leadership was not the order of day in the past because those who fought for independent and led Nigeria after independent were not old people. And this does not mean that we didn’t have old people during that era. It only means that the old authorities indorsed and gave them maximum support ‘rthey never hijacked their future let alone their destiny. I am sure the present situation is getting to the nerve of the Nigerian youth hence giving rise to one militant group or insurgency. All these negative developments could catalyze into crises that can totally capsize this nation. The Nigerian youth needs to be given a voice. Enough of this leadership that keep re¬cycling old cargoes!
Once upon a time on his face book page Barr Edward posted a meditative write up titled “Thinking Aloud” Why! Why!! Why??? Awolowo (37), Akintola (36), Ahmadu Bello (36), Tafawa Belewa (34), Okotie Eboh(27), Enahoro (27) led the struggle for independence after the death of Herbert Macaulay. Only Zik was 42 at the time.” Continuing, he said, “In 1966, the first coup was led by Kaduna Nzeogwu (29) and countered by Muritala Mohammed (28), Theophilus Danjuma (23), Ibrahim Babagida (25), Nanven Garba (23), Sani Abacha (23), Shehu Musa Yaradua (23), Ojukwu (33), Obansanjo (29), Buhari (24). In the same vain most of the military administrators, who governed the states under the successive military regimes, most of who are governors were under 30 years. Furthermore, he pointed out that the brief democratic dispensation which interjected the military interregnums also saw the house of Representative in particular populated by majority under 30 as well as some senators. Again, under 30s were also not in short supply with appointments in the past. We have examples of Mathew Mbu who became foreign affairs minister at 23 and Prof Pat Utomi who became a presidential adviser at 27 and so on.
Continuing he raised a lot rhetorical heart aching questions. Why is it that this age bracket is today still sleeping in 3 setter chairs in their parents’ homes? Why is it that this age bracket is today still collecting pocket money from their parents? Why is it that this age bracket is today still writing JAMB? Why is it that this age bracket is today still sagging their trousers, Why is it that this age bracket is today still searching for jobs? Why is it that this age bracket is today still no longer qualified to even be leaders of youth wings of political parties? Why is it that this age bracket is today still so docile? Why is it that this age bracket is today still incapable of feeding themselves? Why is it that this age bracket is today still barred by law from even aspiring to certain political offices? Why is it that this age bracket is today still incapacitated? Why is it that this age bracket is today still unwilling? Why is it that this age bracket is today still unable and incapable of asking questions? Why? Why?? Why???” He concluded.
In an exclusive chat with APOSTLE DR. C. N. JOSEPH recently, he challenged the Nigerian youths to stop being used for thuggery during electioneering campaigns. In Kenya recent election, a 24 old young man won gubernatorial seat and has already been sworn in as governor. It’s only in Nigeria that the future of youth remains tomorrow and yet our youth has never asked this question; when will the tomorrow of the Nigerian youth come? Nigerian rulers has bluntly refused Nigerian youth and women participation in governance. Its only in Nigeria that admission to university becomes very restricted but sad enough many Nigerian youths who scale through admission hurdles only get there to forget why they are in the university. Many parents pay their children fees through much suffering yet so many of these students only get to the university to join cultism and sex trade, as Nigerian rulers destroys education for Nigerian youths even so Nigeria many youths help to mortgage their future by giving themselves freely to nafferos activities instead of purposeful living. To the Nigerian populace my counsel is this, seek God with a dedicated heart and don’t allow laziness to get hold of you. Someday God will overthrow wickedness and give succor to his people
Felipe Gonzalez was head of the Spanish government in 1982 at the age of 40. Tony Blair became the British premier in 1997 at the age of 43. Benazir Bhutto was Pakistan’s premier in 1988 at the age of 35, and Laurent Fabius was French premier in 1984 at 37.
US president Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he took office, and John F. Kennedy was 43.
In France, Charles-Louis Napoléon III was previously the youngest leader, at 40 years of age in 1848 and under a different political regime, followed by Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the youngest under the current system, at 48, in 1974.
Excluding democratic governments, notable young leaders at the moment include North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, 34, and the emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, 36.
And not to forget Moamer Kadhafi, who came to power in Libya in 1969, aged 27.
Kenya sets the pace for Africa
Kenya is a very youthful country, with the country’s median age estimated at just 19 years. Voters below the age of 35 also constitute 51% of its 19.6 million registered voters—with key presidential and gubernatorial candidates all working hard to win the youth vote.
Throughout the campaign, there were inspiring stories of young candidates like Simon Muturi, a 24-year-old, who campaigned on his bicycle and secured nomination through president Kenyatta’s Jubilee party.
But the biggest breakthrough has been the election of underdogs like John Paul Mwirigi, a 23-year-old candidate who had been campaigning on foot and who defeated the ruling party’s candidate. After winning the Igembe South parliamentary seat, Mwirigi is set to be the country’s youngest lawmaker.
In Nandi county, located in Kenya’s north rift valley, 34-year-old Stephen Kipyego Sang made history after winning the gubernatorial seat in the county. Sang was also Kenya’s youngest elected senator.
Nandi County elects the youngest Governor in Kenya
Stephen arap Sang of Nandi County will be the youngest Governor in Kenya. The newly elected Governor was only 28 when he joined the Senate in 2013 — again as the youngest elected member of the House Nandi is enjoying a new identity as the county that made a deliberate decision to vote for some of the youngest leaders in the just concluded General Election. Governor-elect Stephen arap Sang, 32, is the youngest governor in the country, while Senator-elect Kiprotich Cherargey, 30, isalso be the youngest representative in the Senate.
Residents of Nandi also voted in several Members of the County Assembly who are in their 20s, such as Kilibwoni ward representative Cynthia Suge, 24, who becomes the youngest MCA in the country.
Meet the world’s youngest leaders
The eight youngest leaders hail from across the globe — from democracies, monarchies, and dictatorships in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and Middle East.
North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is hugged by children during his visit to Samjiyon.
Volodymyr Groysman, 39, is Ukraine’s youngest ever prime minister. He was elected by Parliament in April 2016.
Jüri Ratas, 38, is the new prime minister of Estonia (he was voted into office in November 2016) and the leader of the country’s Centre Party.
Saleh Ali al-Sammad, 38, is the leader of the Houthi militants, who control much of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa. (The US is providing support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, and Yemen also has a separate provisional government with a president and prime minister.)
5. Macedonian Prime Minister Emil Dimitriev, 38, took power in January 2016 after his predecessor, Nikola Gruevski, agreed to step down following protests against Gruevski for alleged mass wiretapping of Macedonian officials.
4. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 37, is the fifth king of Bhutan — a position he took on when he was just 26 and his father abdicated the throne. Wangchuck oversaw the institution of the country’s new constitution in 2008, and is encouraging democratization.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 36, is the Emir of Qatar — a post he took over in 2013 from his father (who took power from his own father in a non-violent coup 18 years prior).
Kim Jong-un, who succeeded his father as supreme leader of North Korea in 2011, is just 33.
1. At 28, Vanessa D’Ambrosio, who is serving a six-month term as the captain regent of San Marino, a mountainous European microstate, is the youngest leader of any country in the world. D’Ambrosio will lead the country alongside her co-captain regent, Mimma Zavoli, until October 2017.
At 28, Vanessa D’Ambrosio, who is serving a six-month term as the captain regent of San Marino, a mountainous European microstate, is the youngest leader of any country in the world. D’Ambrosio will lead the country alongside her co-captain regent, Mimma Zavoli, until October 2017
8 MOST INFLUENTIAL Young Politicians in the World
8. Kaniela Ing, USA, 25
Kaniela Ing is a state senator in the 11th House District of the Hawaii State House of Representatives. He was elected in 2012 and assumed office in 2013, making him the youngest lawmaker in the state of Hawaii.
7. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, 33
Jacinda Ardern is a member of parliament in New Zealand who was first elected to office in 2008 when she was just 28 years old. As a member of the Labour Party she was appointed as a spokesperson for youth affairs. She graduated from Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand with a degree in Communications.
6. Marietje Schaake, Netherlands, 35
This Dutch politician was first elected to the European Parliament at age 30 as a member of the Democrats 66 party. She has served on the parliament’s Committee of International Trade; Committee on Culture, Media and Education; and Committee on Foreign Affairs
5. Pierre-Luc Dusseault, Canada, 23
This Canadian wunderkind was elected as the MP for Sherbrooke, Quebec as a member of the NDP when he was only 19. Now 23, he has accomplished quite a bit in his short time in office; he has twice served as the chair of the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics committee. He received a diploma in social studies from Sherbrooke General and Vocational College and was studying applied politics at the University of Sherbrooke when he was elected.
4. Wyatt Roy, Australia, 24
When he was elected as a member of the Parliament of Australia for the district of Longman, Wyatt Roy was a mere 20 years old; he is the youngest person ever to be elected to parliament in Australia. He spent much of his youth working on his parent’s farm and learning the ins and outs of the business. After studying political science in university, and hearing many people complain about the state of affairs in government, he got the urge to enter politics so he could make a difference.
3. Alex B. Morse, USA, 25
Democrat Alex B. Morse is the youngest mayor to be elected in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He was first elected in 2011 at only 22 years old and he was then elected to a second term in 2013.
2. Anton Amade Abele, Sweden, 22
Abele was elected to Swedish Parliament in 2010 at just 18 years old. In 2007, 16-year-old Riccardo Campogiani was beaten to death at a party in Stockholm, which led Abele to form a Facebook group called “Save us from street violence;” he also arranged an anti-violence demonstration later that month. This activism was parlayed into a non-profit organization, and people took notice. He received a human rights award at the MTV Europe Music Awards and eventually was chosen to run as an MP for the Moderate Party.
Proscovia Alengot Oromait, Uganda, 21
In 2012, 19-year-old Proscovia Alengot Oromait was elected as a member of parliament. Now 21 years old, she is the youngest person ever elected to office in not only Uganda but the entire African continent. Uganda has a large youth population, with approximately 50% of the country under 15, and about 78% of the population under 30; numbers which indicate that more young politicians will soon be following in Oromait’s footsteps.
Viktor Orban became prime minister in 1998 at the age of 35. He left office in 2002 but took over again in 2010.
Charles Michel became prime minister in 2014 at the age of 38 to become the country’s youngest leader since 1840.
Juri Ratas became prime minister in late 2016 at the age of 38.
Volodymyr Groysman was appointed prime minister in 2016 at the age of 38.
Alexis Tsipras was named prime minister in 2015 at the age of 40, the youngest Greek leader in 150 years.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was 40 when he took office in 2016, the youngest since Tunisian independence in 1956.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was 43 when he took office in 2015.
PolandPresident Andrzej Duda won the election in 2015 at the age of 43.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili took the oath of office in 2013 at the age of 44.
Those no longer in power
Some young leaders have recently left or lost office:
Estonia: Taavi Roivas was just 34 years old when he became prime minister in 2014. He left office in 2016.
Kosovo: Atifete Jahjaga became president in 2011 when she was 36 years old. She left office in 2016.
Italy: Matteo Renzi ran the government from early 2014, when he was 39, until late 2016.
Britain: David Cameron was 43 when he became prime minister in 2010. He left office last year after the shock referendum to leave the EU.
07 Jul 2014
Emmanuel Macron

Senator at 28, Governor at 32
joins a long list of young leaders across the globe who are calling the shots

Joseph Kabila
DR Congo President Joseph Kabila.
The democratic republic of Congo president was 29 years old when he ascended into power. Ten days after his father was assassinated the young novice who spent majority of his teenage years in the United States ascended to power.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed
Prime Minister Chahed is the youngest leader to ascend to power since Tunisia attained independence in 1956.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. He is the 23rd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party. Furthermore he is the second youngest prime minister after Joe Clark and the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He was 43 when he took office in 2015.
President Andrzej Duda of Poland
President Andrzej Duda of Poland. The Polish president was born on May 1972, Prior to becoming the president, he served as a member of Polish Seim (2011–14) and the European Parliament (2014–15). He was eventually elected president in 2015 at the age of 43.
Alexis Tsipras
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The 185th and current Prime Minister of Greece is the youngest Greek leader in 150 years.Mr. Tsipras was named prime minister in 2015 at the young age of 40.