African leaders' staying power a mystery

Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. (AFP)

Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. (AFP)

He has been in power for only 32 years, but wants another term "to rebuild".

Why does it seem that in Africa rulers can go on and on and on, whereas their Western counterparts battle to keep up? In Western democracies, leaders are in and out of office in no time at all. Three years as prime minister of the United Kingdom or four years as United States president can totally wear one out. Does this mean African leaders are just tougher and stronger than Western leaders?  – Mark Lowe, Cape Town

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