In Africa, several families have immense influence in their countries political power play. These influential families directly or indirectly play huge roles in determining who gets elected to the big political seat, who is nominated to a key post and even who is in or out of the president’s inner circle.
Some of these families have also made inroads into the economic sectors in their countries and across the continent, with numerous big investments.
Here are some of the most influential families in Africa:
The Nguema Family – Equatorial Guinea
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo led Equatorial Guinea since 1979. He led a military coup that overthrew the president, Francisco Macias Nguema, who is his uncle. Teodoro Obiang is the longest serving president in Africa.
The president’s son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is the nation’s second Vice-President. Gabriel Mbega Obiang is, his step-son is the Minister for Oil. GEPetrol, the National Oil Company is headed by Nsue Okomo, his brother in law.
His close relatives occupy ministerial positions in his government and diplomatic positions abroad, such as Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue who is the country’s ambassador to the United States.
The Kenyatta Family – Kenya
It is arguably the most influential family in the political and economic sectors in Kenya. The family has produced two presidents in the East African nation, Kenya. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was the first president in independent Kenya, between 1963 and 1977. In 2013, his son, Uhuru Kenyatta became the fourth president of the country.
The family has business interests in the dairy, land, hospitality, media and banking industries, both in Kenya and globally. Some of the family’s properties include Brookside Dairy, Heritage Hotels, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Mediamax Group among others.
The Compaore Family – Burkina Faso
It has been a major player in the political affairs of Burkina Faso. Blaise Compaore took over power on October 15, 1987 after leading a coup d’etat that overthrew President Thomas Sankara. Compaore was forced to resign from office in October 2014.
His brother, Simon Compaore, a politician served as the mayor for Ouagadougou, the country’s capital from 1995 to 2012. Archbishop Jean-Marie Compaore is the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Ouagadougou. Blaise Compaore’s wife, Chantal Compaore is the daughter of former Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who ruled from 1960 until his death in 1993.
The dos Santos Family – Angola
It has been the biggest political player in post-independent Angola. The nation’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos took over power on September 21, 1979.
His oldest daughter, Isabel dos Santos owns 25 percent in Unitel, which is the country’s largest mobile phone network. She also owns shares in Banco BIC. She has investments in Portugal. In 2013, Forbes ranked her as the richest woman in Africa.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos has named his close relatives to top government positions such as Carlos Alberto Lopes, his brother-in-law who is the country’s Finance minister.
Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, a cousin to the president was the nation’s Prime Minister from 2002-2008.
The Khama Family – Botswana
It has produced two of Botswana’s presidents. Sir Sereste Maphiri Khama was the first Prime Minister of Botswana from March 3, 1965 to September 30, 1966, when the post was abolished after Botswana became independent.
He became the first president when the nation got independence on September 30, 1966. He died while still in power on July 13, 1980.
His son, Lieutenant General Sereste Khama Ian Khama became nation’s fourth president on April 1, 2008. He was re-elected in October 2014.
Ruth Williams Khama, Sir Sereste Maphiri’s wife was the country’s inaugural First Lady. She died of throat cancer on May 22, 2002.
The Museveni Family – Uganda
It has been a key players in Ugandan politics since the late 1980’s. Yoweri Museveni became president on January 29, 1986. In February 2016, he was re-elected for a fifth term, extending his stay in power to over three decades.
His wife, First Lady Janet Museveni is the Minister for Karamoja Affairs. She was the Member of Parliament for Ruhaama constituency since 2006 but quit before the general elections held in February 2016.
Brigadier General Muhoozi kaneirugamba, the president’s eldest son is high ranking officer in the Uganda military. He heads the Special Forces, which provides security for President Museveni.
Sam Kutesa, Museveni’s brother-in-law is the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. President Museveni’s close family relatives hold high positions in the Ugandan government.
The Museveni family has vast business interests in Stanbic Bank, Kampala International University, Sameer Dairy Corporation and MTN Uganda among others.
The Ibru Family – Nigeria
The family was started by Chief Peter Epete Ibru, a missionary and his wife, Janet Omotogor Ibru. It is leading player in the Nigerian economic interests.
Felix Ibru was the first democratically elected governor of Delta State. He served from January 2, 1992 to November 17, 1993. From May 2003 to May 2007, he was Senator for Delta Central State.
Goodie Ibru was president of the Nigeria Stock Exchange from 1997 to 2000. Alex Ibru served as Minister for Internal Affairs in General Sani Abacha’s government, from 1993 to 1995. He is also the founder of the Guardian newspapers.
In 2014, Ibru organization, the family’s business conglomerate was named by Forbes as one of the top ten business enterprises in Nigeria.
The family owns 40 percent shares in Aero Contractors Airlines, Nigeria’s oldest aviation company, Sheraton and Ikeja Hotels Plc, Emsee Shipping Lines Ltd, oil and gas sectors.
The Kabila Family – DRC
Joseph Desire Kabila, the fourth president of Democratic Republic of Congo comes from this family. He ruled from May 17, 1997 until his assassination on January 16, 2001. He was succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila who is still the incumbent president. In 2014, Forbes estimated President Kabila to be worth US$15 billion.
Source: AFK Insider