Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo, 74 years old
Time in Office: 37 years
Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo has been at the helm of affairs in Equatorial Guinea since he seized power in a 1979 coup. Despite the vast natural resources (crude oil and timber) at his disposal, Obiang’s 37 years in power has been marked by a declining quality of life among Equatorial Guineans, with the majority of his countrymen living below the poverty line.
Still, Obiang has maintained his hold on power by the use of state-sponsored violence to silence the opposition, rampant corruption, and an overall poor economic performance. Even as he positions his controversial son, Teodorin Obiang Nguema, to succeed him as president, he is one leader who needs to step aside in 2017.