From African Arguments, here is an interesting article on Blaise Compaore, who has been president of Burkina Faso for 25 years.
Compared to contemporaries like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, the late Libyan ruler Muammar Al Ghaddafi and Liberia’s Charles Taylor, Compaoré has indeed kept a low profile and has managed to prevent himself becoming associated with the worst expressions of African political life – at least not in his own country. But a more critical assessment of his legacy and method of government demonstrates that he is in no way the ‘benign dictator’ that Keating and Nadoun would like him to be.
I really recommend to read it, as Peter Dörrie hits two very good points:
Blaise Compaoré is the only African head of state who managed to dramatically limit the development of his country without declaring outright war on it
That he has managed to avoid directly killing a large part of his population in the process shouldn’t win him any praise, written or otherwise.