3. Paul Biya, 84 years old, Time in Office: 36 Years
Paul Biya is, without a doubt, one of the wickedest and worst dictators in Africa. Biya is a career politician who previously held several leadership positions under former President Ahmadou Ahidjo. In 1982, Ahidjo resigned from office and installed Biya as a chosen successor. Relations between the two, however, quickly deteriorated and Ahidjo fled into exile.
In 1984, Biya foiled a military coup against his government. In the aftermath, he solidified his hold on power. President Biya regularly makes elaborate pretensions of conducting democratic elections, but in practice, Cameroon remains under his tyrannical grip.
Under Cameroon’s constitution, Biya has sweeping executive and legislative powers. In 2008, he forced a constitutional amendment that removed presidential term limits and made him eligible to seek re-election indefinitely.
At 84 years old, Biya rarely makes public appearances in Cameroon, choosing instead to spend as much as three months straight holidaying in exclusive European resorts at the expense of his fellow countrymen. To the rest of the world, Cameroon is a democratic nation but to the average Cameroonian there is no such thing as democracy. To worsen matters, Paul Biya is also Africa’s highest paid head of government with an annual salary of nearly $500,000 — more than 229 times that of the average Cameroonian. He surely needs to save his countrymen all that money.