By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Explore a list of the great African leaders who are well known to this very day and who helped shape the history of the land many of us call home. These heroes were pioneers in their own rights, TheSpy Uganda has shortlisted them for you;
Most people would say, Nelson Mandela, without a doubt was one of the most famous African activists. He was arrested for his activism more than once . He was imprisoned and released from prison after 27 years and he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his work to end apartheid in South Africa.
He is regarded as a symbol of global peace and considered by many to be at the top of all the great South African leaders in the history of Africa.
9. Kwame Nkrumah
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is a praised politician from Ghana who led the country from 1951 to 1966 with the main mission to gain independence from their colonial masters, Britain.
He held the position of the first president of Ghana, and many say that he was the founder of this country. Kwame was a Pan-Africanist who assisted in finding the Africa Union, formerly the Organization of African Union.
8. Patrice Lumumba
Lumumba was a Congolese politician who fought for the country’s independence from Belgium. The Congolese National Movement was founded by Patrice, and he made use of Pan-African ideologies to gain independence. Congo gained its freedom from Belgium in 1961, largely due to Lumumba’s struggles.
Julius Nyerere was the first president of Tanzania and he ruled from 1961 to 1985. Nyerere played a major role in finding the Tanganyika African National Union and as president of this party, he pressured Britain for independence.
Nyerere successfully negotiated the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika in 1964, resulting in what we know today, Tanzania.
6. Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara, ‘The Revolutionary Icon’
Thomas Sankara is viewed as an icon of the revolution. Many refer to him as the ‘Che Guevara of Africa’. He became the president of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987.
Thomas was a headstrong Pan-Africanist who seized power in 1983 and worked to eliminate corruption and eradicate the former French colonial power’s dominance.
5. Haile Selassie, A ‘Reincarcerated Messiah’
Haile Selassie, or Ras Tafari Makonnen, was a member of the Solomonic Dynasty. He was an Ethiopian ruler from 1916 to 1974 and the emperor from 1930 to 1974.
During his time in power, he fought for social fairness, and he focused on the education of the people by constructing many schools. Ethiopia became a charter member of the UN as a result of his views and visions.
4. Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta was an activist who was opposed to the colonial rule of the country. He became the first president of Kenya.
Jomo played a major role in ensuring that Kenya gained independence in 1963. He was on the front line in the Kenya National African Union, and he brought economic growth to the country. Jomo promoted peace, and he oversaw the registration of Kenya with the African Union.
3. Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda is a retired politician who became the first president of Zambia and held office from 1964 to 1991.
Kenneth used peaceful protests and negotiations as a leader of the United National Independence Party to successfully gain independence for Zambia in 1964.
2. Kofi Annan
Kofi was a highly revered Ghanaian diplomat. From 1997 to 2006 he successfully led the United Nations as the 7th secretary-general. Annan fought the AIDS pandemic in Africa, and he actively worked to erase social issues in the world. In 2006, Kofi and the UN were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for their hard work.
1. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the first great African female leader and head of state. She was the 24th president of Liberia who held office from 2006 to 2018. She has been praised for bringing steadiness back to Liberia after many years of civil war. Ellen is also referred to as ‘Africa’s Iron Lady’ who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.