The past 18 months has seen an increase in Generation Y world leaders

The changing age of world politics

Young leaders seem to be having their time in the sun, with the world seeing a trend in favour of the younger generation.

Over the past 18 months citizens in several countries across Europe have broken a decades-long trend and opted for relative youth over experienced political campaigners.

France President Emmanuel Macron and Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz are just two examples, assuming office in 2017, aged 39 and 31 years old respectively.

The tiny European microstate of San Marino is no stranger to millennial leaders either. The municipality of 34,000 people elects two formal heads of state – Captain Regents, on rolling six-month terms. In the past 40 years seven regents were aged under 30. Matteo Ciacci, elected in April this year is just 28 years old.

In recent years, Australia has seen a rise in fledging politicians. The youngest sitting member in parliament is disability advocate Senator Jordon Steele-John, who was elected via a High Court decision in late 2017.

Former Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy became the youngest Minister in the history of the Commonwealth – at 25 years old. In 2010, aged 20, Mr Roy became the youngest ever to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives, making him the “Baby of the House”.

Since leaving politics, the Queensland native has joined artificial intelligence company, Afiniti, based in Sydney, where he is Managing Director.

Over in the United States, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is poised to become the youngest woman in Congress. After winning the Democratic primary for New York in June, she is a favourite to win during the November elections.

Long gone are the days of senior leaders such as African dictators like Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi or Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Both were deposed during the now famous Arab Spring, with their citizens forcing changes in leadership with the potential futures of their nations at risk.

At 92 years old Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is setting the record straight for the senior leaders. Elected earlier this year, Dr Mahathir came out of retirement to run Malaysia, having already been their longest-serving prime minister between 1981 and 2003.

However, the political landscape is changing and the shift in power towards the leaders of tomorrow will continue to have a positive impact on domestic and international relations between countries worldwide.

– Bishoy Bassilious