BY Adedeji Ademola, 6:00pm March 15, 2023,

7 influential traditional rulers in West Africa you should know

Left photo credit: Alfred Weidinger | Right photo credit: U.S. Department of State

Without the bravery and achievements of her traditional rulers, many of whom hold immense authority, Africa’s history would be incomplete. African rulers were given governmental authority similar to that of today’s president or prime minister in ancient times, as was the case in many other cultures.

Some powerful African kings of that era were Menelik II, Mansa Musa, Idris Alooma, and others who were not only political reformers but also outstanding warrior kings. Nevertheless, this is no longer the case, as most of them are now ceremonial posts; with the exception of a small number of African nations, such as Lesotho and Morocco, that still adhere to monarchical administration. Yet, there are still prominent monarchs who are known as traditional rulers in the local context.

Traditional leaders have an impact on government policies as well as community development. They also serve as the guardians of cultural traditions. Several strong kings rule across West Africa. The monarchs who made our list are strong, influential, and doing their best for their people and country; no other criteria were used in this process. Nigeria, due to its huge heterogeneity, definitely has more traditional rulers, which is reflected in the numbers collated here. These powerful kings have been highlighted in no particular sequence.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 15, 2023


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