Meet African leaders with salaries as low as $300 per month

There is a very popular belief that presidents are very wealthy people who make a lot of money from their huge salaries, gifts and, in some cases, bribes.

While this might be true for the leaders of Cameroon, South Africa, and Kenya  —  said to be the highest earning presidents according to a 2017 list by The Citizen  –  this certainly does not apply to everyone.

Meet some of the African leaders with the least salaries. They are:

Abiy Ahmed

The Ethiopian prime minister makes just $300 every month. According to him, this is his way of showing that he is really serious about changing the country’s economy.

In his words, “I work seven days a week for $300 a month. I am not getting rich, but I am not corrupted. I have a modest office. But I am interested in making [the] change.”

Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed is changing the narrative that African leaders are greedy

Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed is changing the narrative that African leaders are greedy



He became the 15th and current Prime Minister of Ethiopia on April 2, 2018.

ALSO READ: Africa’s oldest president, Paul Biya, has been re-elected and he’ll rule till he’s 92

Isaias Afwerki

In 2017, it was reported that Eritrea’s leader earns a monthly salary of $500 making him the world’s lowest-paid president at the time.

Two years ago, there were reports that he earned $400 a month, which is less than what a Canadian mining company like Nevsun Resources and miners make in his country. The report by Tesfa News stated: “If Nevsun truck drives made ‘twice that of a government minister’, it is even more astonishing when one noticed what Nevsun CEO made this year compared to President Isaias Afwerki’s annual salary.”


Afwerki became the first president of Eritrea after the country gained its independence in 1993. He has held the position since then.

John Magufuli

The Eritrean leader is followed by the Tanzanian president who makes a lot more than his African counterpart.

During a speech to local officials in 2017, he revealed that he earns a salary of 9 million Tanzanian shillings ($4,000) per month. Aljazeera reports that this is a third of what former president Jakaya Kikwete used to make.

In his words, “My salary is nine million (Tanzanian Shillings). I have not increased my salary and I will not increase it. Because my obligation is to serve Tanzanians first. Citizens are tired of their money getting stolen.”

Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli became president in 2015

Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli became president in 2015



President Magufuli shared this while revealing plans to reduce the salaries of executives of state-owned companies. Magufuli, nicknamed ‘The Bulldozer,’ has made a lot of salaries cuts like this since taking office in November 2015.


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