Liberian newly elected president, Joseph Boakai nearly fainted during his inauguration (Video)

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The 79-year-old newly elected president of Liberia passes out during his speech and is quickly removed from the podium.

The newly elected 79-year-old president of Liberia, Joseph Boakai, encountered health issues and was unable to finish his speech during the unfortunate presidential inauguration ceremony in the country’s capital, Monrovian. 

Joseph Boakai, the recently elected president of Liberia, 79, is carried off the podium after becoming ill during his speech.
The event has reignited conversations regarding the age range of African leaders and the necessity of a generational change in leadership.

President Boakai encountered difficulties and was clearly finding it difficult to remain composed as he started his inauguration speech. Concerns have been raised regarding his health and capacity to fulfil the demanding duties of the presidency after a brief video of the ceremony went viral online and showed him being helped off the podium.

Boakai’s aides were seen fanning the president during the incident with the papers that the would-be speech was printed on, and other aides were seen telling people who were filming the event to stop.

Discussions concerning African leaders’ ages and their seeming resolve to hold onto power into old age have been rekindled by this incident. Opponents contend that this pattern could impede development and prevent the emergence of a younger generation ready to offer novel insights and creative solutions to the problems facing the continent.

The younger generation is becoming more vocal in their call for change as a result of their disappointment with what they see as the shortcomings of the older generation. Many people see the ageing leadership as a barrier to advancement because they feel that they have not sufficiently addressed the urgent problems that the continent is currently facing.

Young leaders who aspire to prominent positions in the government encounter opposition from the older generation, which frequently thwarts efforts at a seamless transition. An environment that facilitates a smooth transfer of power and raises important questions about the age of African leaders are further underscored by the incident that occurred during Boakai’s inauguration.

It is unclear whether this incident will spur a change in public opinion and motivate practical steps to support an inclusive political environment in Liberia and beyond, given the increasing momentum around discussions about leadership and governance.

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