3. Yahya Jammeh (28 years old), Gambia
Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh was born in Kanilai, a small village in the west of the Gambia to a wrestler Father and a housewife Mother. As a Muslim of the Jola ethnic group, the young Jammeh attended school in Kanilai and Bwiam, where he excelled and won a government scholarship to study at the Gambia High School in Banjul in 1978.
In July 1994, Jammeh became Gambia’s leader, after he overthrew the government of President Dawda Jawara in a bloodless coup d’etat.
In 1996, he resigned from his military position to contest and win the Gambian presidential election. He was re-elected in 2001, 2006, and 2011.
And while Jammeh tried to make his government both nationalist and Pan-African, his administration was constantly accused of rights abuses and the suppression of the political opposition.
In December 2016, Jammeh was defeated by businessman Adama Barrow in a landmark Gambian presidential election. He moved to the Equatorial Guinea two months later where he now lives in exile.