When George W. Bush was introduced to then-vice president of Zambia Guy Scott a few years ago, he thought somebody was joking. Scott is a white man whose parents immigrated to the country when it was still a British colony, and the death of President Michael Sata makes him sub-Saharan Africa's first white leader since the end of apartheid in South Africa, CNN reports. Scott, whose father was active in the anti-colonial movement before independence, has previously served as the country's agriculture minister.
In a 2012 interview with the Spectator, Scott said his presence in government was a testament to Zambia's stability and tolerance. "I don't think I would be nearly as welcome in South Africa, for example. Or West Africa," he said. "I get the suspicion they are pretty dubious, wondering what a white man is doing there. But for some reason, I'm very popular here." The country's constitution calls for a new election within 90 days, but although Scott is now the acting president, his parents were not born in Zambia, so he may be ineligible to run for the office, reports the BBC.