Gambia’s President Adama Barrow, one of the continent’s newest leaders have challenged African rulers to be realistic and politically inclusive.
Barrow, who is leading a unity government in the small West African nation has called for the African Union to undertake reforms.
“The current challenges faced by our continental organization require realistic and inclusive political leadership,” he said.
“We need to address the factors preventing us to effectively operate as a Union through the reform processes.”
The African Union is facing budgetary challenges and Barrow urged for the administrative and governance structures of our continental organization be reviewed.
The new leader deeply cut millions into his office’s budget and is implementing administrative and governance reforms in his The Gambia after decades of financial mismanagement.
Barrow came to power following months of political turmoil. His predecessor, Yahya Jammeh refused to step aside after losing elections.
His call for political inclusiveness is inspired by his own rise to power. He was supported by a coalition of seven opposition parties to win the polls.
U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015 warned that leaders who overstayed their terms in office “were not beyond the law”, citing Burundi as an example at the time.
He called for long-entrenched leaders to step down, using off-the-cuff remarks about his own political standing and his stature as the first American president with African roots to try to reshape the continent’s politics.
Many African leaders have been changing their constitutions to extend their rule by getting rid of term limits and cracking down on dissenting voices and opposition politicians.