Africa’s unique circumstances makes it imperative that its leaders be heavily guarded. The 20 most protected presidents in Africa are those that have the most impressive security details protecting them and their families 24 hours of the day.
Of course, the larger the security detail, the heavier the expenses. This could pose a significant budgetary problem; especially when one considers the fact that richer countries in Europe and Asia may have less security expenses on their presidents.
However, this expense is necessary because many countries of Africa are not at peace. In such an environment it becomes especially necessary to protect the office of the president.
Top 20 Most Protected Presidents In Africa
1. Allasane Ouattara
President of Ivory Coast
Allasane Ouattara is widely acknowledged to be the most heavily guarded president in Africa; and he even gets a mention on the world list. This understandably so because he arrived to power on the back of a conflict; and there are still many who insist that he usurped the position with the help of France.
He arrives international summits in a black Mercedes s class; which is armored and fitted with two engines. He never travels alone; his motorcade can reach up to 20 vehicles, including buses, vans, Humvees, and Range Rovers.
The true strength of his security detail has not been revealed; in a video the buses were not opened, but it is assumed that they were filled with soldiers who were on standby.
His body guards number 12; and they not only keep him safe; they also keep onlookers at a good distance.
2. Paul Biya
President of Cameroon
Having spent around 40 years in office, Paul Biya of Cameroon is rightly paranoid that someone is eager to see him out of office, through bloodshed if necessary. He is one of Africa’s most protected presidents; moving about with a convoy of nearly 20 vehicles.
In a recent “celebration” in France to mark his longevity on the throne, Paul Biya was seen completely surrounded by hefty men. The protection was total, to the point that it became difficult for photographers just to get pictures of him.
These same men almost completely surrounded his official vehicle as it approached the venue. The vehicle itself was an armored limousine, which makes it seem rather unnecessary that it should be so guarded.
The expenditure available to Paul Biya on his personal protection seems unlimited because he is virtually an absolute monarch, and as such, he is not answerable to anyone.
3. King Mohammed VI of Morocco
President of Morocco
The King of Morocco is another absolute monarch; he is one of the very few rulers who hold all the power. It is certainly wise of him to make adequate provisions for his protection; there are many misguided people who may want to take it upon themselves to enforce political change.
The king is mostly driven in a Mercedes Benz S Class which is the standard for world leaders as it is armored, and comes fitted with two engines, as well as a cached supplies of weapons for self-defense.
The vehicle never travels alone; he is driven in a motorcade that includes an armored range rover, and Humvees bringing up the rear. This can be described as a small army; it has solders, weapons experts, communications experts, and a medical unit.
4. Emerson Mnangangwa
President of Zimbabwe
Emerson Mnangangwa came to power through a coup; which explains why he has to be heavily guarded to prevent the same thing from happening to him. To be fair; the coup was widely popular as it removed Robert Mugabe who had stayed in power for 30 years. Nevertheless, he still has to be extra careful because some political opponents may favor force as an option.
Emerson Mnangangwa thwarts them by utilizing heavy security whenever he makes public appearances. His body guards number around 50, and they are all dressed in black suits; and carrying matching briefcases suspected to contain automatic firearms.
These body guards completely surround him when he steps out of his vehicle; and the vehicle itself is a heavily armored Mercedes S Class; which is the standard for world leaders. Emerson Mnangangwa can be forgiven for his robust security; he survived a bomb incidence in 2018.
5. Bola Tinubu
President of Nigeria
Bola Tinubu became president of Nigeria in May 2023. He inherited a robust security structure; the State Security Service; which is the elite force whose duty is to secure the president and his family, along with other top political office holders in the country.
Of course, these structures have had to be beefed up in recent years; there was an attack on Eagles Square- endangering the life of Former President Goodluck Jonathan. Furthermore, the country has been engaged in an ongoing insurgency that has seen multiple military installations attacked, including the presidential villa itself.
As a result; the president is surrounded at all times by at least 12 black suited men of the SSS; and they accompany his car and his person. The car itself is a Mercedes Benz s 600; it has two engines and thick amour to withstand gunfire, and even bombs.
His car is shielded by a motorcade of 8 vehicles; and depending on where he is going, he can even double his security detail.
6. Cyril Ramaphosa
President of South Africa
Cyril Ramaphosa is the president of South Africa; and as such, he is arguably the most important personality in Africa. His importance is anchored by the fact that South Africa is the most important economy, and also the most important political zone on the continent.
The full extent of President Cyril Ramaphosa’ security detail has only recently come to light; this was due to a well reported international scandal that broke out in Poland, and which is suspected to have political undertones.
The president’s security detail was refused permission to unload 12 containers containing weapons; these weapons and other security gadgets are thought to be for the protection of the president. They also refused the group from coming out of their plane; and the men were said to number dozens.
To be fair; the visit was to meet with President Putin on a sensitive diplomatic mission; and it was made at a time of war. In other circumstances; he may not have needed that much security.
7. Abdel Fattah El Sisi
President of Egypt
Abdel Fattah el Sisi is the president of Egypt. He is one of the most protected presidents in Africa; and understandably so because he took power in a coup in 2013; he removed the democratically elected president, suspended the constitution, and installed himself as head of a new government.
In order for the same thing not to happen to him, he has to be well prepared. He is driven around in a black Mercedes Benz S 600 limo; and the vehicle is shielded within a motorcade of some 12 vehicles. He is surrounded by at least 10 bodyguards with special training.
8. Paul Kagame
President of Rwanda
Paul Kagame has been president since 2000. He was previously a military leader; he headed the Rwandan Patriotic Front which was part of the civil war in the 90’s, and which brought an end to the genocide in 1994.
He has helped rebuild the country; its economy, government structure, and society. He is one of the most respected personalities in Africa; but that does not mean he should be carefree with his life.
He is driven around in an armored Range Rover Sentinel, and there are matching vehicles in his motorcade which can reach 12 vehicles. He has a small army always around him; they include body guards on foot that surround him, and when he is driving, there are motorcycles in front of his motorcade.
9. William Ruto
President of Kenya
William Ruto has been president of Kenya since 2022. He inherited an impressive security detail from his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta who was known to be one of the best secured presidents in Africa.
William Ruto’s motorcade is probably the most elaborate; 15 motorbikes traveling in a V shape formation, and 12 SUVs shielding the president’s car at all sides.
His car is an armored Toyota Landcruiser, and he has similarly powerful vehicles in his motorcade. He is protected on all sides when in or out of the vehicle.
10. Mamady Doumbouya
President of Guinea
Mamady Doumbouya is the president of Guinea; he has held the position since 2021. He is a military officer; and he rose to power on the back of a coup. No doubt, he is certainly wise in ensuring that he has adequate security so as not to suffer the same fate as his predecessor.
He is protected by an elite squad of solders all dressed in combat outfit, and openly brandishing their Russian made riffles. These men are handpicked from the finest battalions of the Guinean army, and they surround him completely when he steps out of his vehicle.
He is driven around in a black Humvee, and the motorcade is 10 vehicles long.
The following is a more extensive list of the 20 most protected presidents in Africa.
|King Mohammed VI
|Abdel Fattah El Sisi
|Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
|Samia Suluhu Hassan
|Captain Ibrahim Traore
|Mohamed Ould Cheikh
|Salva Kiir Mayardit,
|Andry Nirina Rajoelina
While reading through the most protected presidents in Africa; it becomes clear that presidents of volatile countries are more inclined to spend the huge amounts they spend on their personal security. For one thing; they need to be able to justify the expenditure; and they can only do so when there are proven threats.