Two African presidents join five others to donate salaries to development funds

May 28, 2018 at 06:23 am | News

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

May 28, 2018 at 06:23 am | News

Two African presidents have donated portions of their salaries to development funds in their countries ahead of Africa Day which fell on May 25, 2018.

The first to announce his decision was the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who announced last Wednesday that he will donate half of his presidential salary to a fund that will be managed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The president said he is doing it in honour of Nelson Mandela as the country marks the 100th anniversary of Madiba’s birth. He also called on other citizens to contribute a small portion to what will now be called the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund.

This means Ramaphosa will part with half of his R3.6 million ($289,393) a year salary.

Meanwhile, Gambian president Adama Barrow also announced last Friday a 10% salary cut which will be channelled into the country’s National Development Plan (NDP).

The two leaders join five others who made similar donations in the past. Liberia’s president George Weah said after his inauguration that he will divert 25% of his salary and benefits to a development fund. Weah earns about $100,000 yearly, meaning he will relinquish about $25,000.

Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, took a 50% pay cut when he assumed office in 2015. The presidential salary in Nigeria is about $70,000 monthly, including allowances.

Tanzanian president John Magufuli announced last year that he slashed his monthly salary to $4,000 a month in an effort to tackle state expenditure. He similarly cut the salaries of other public officials and civil servants.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta announced a 20% pay trim to his salary in 2014 in a public showdown to address the government’s ballooned public sector wage bill. He cut his minister’s salaries by 10% and urged all MPs to take a pay cut as well. The president receives a $14,000-a-month basic salary ($168,000 annually), now $11,000 effective the pay cut.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged to give up half his salary – and property – in 2014 when the country’s economy retracted after the upheaval of the Arab Spring. That is half of his 42,000 Egyptian pounds salary ($5,200 a month, or $62,000 annually at current rates).

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