From politicians to celebrities to business leaders, more Africans are taking to Twitter these days to get their messages across. Here are 10 African leaders who tweet.
With 362,000-plus followers, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has more Twitter fans than any other sitting African leader. He’s also a prolific poster. Many of Kenyatta’s 2,300 tweets include glossy pictures of himself, but he also likes to offer followers words of personal wisdom.
South Africa’s president Jacob G. Zuma has only tweeted 99 times since joining Twitter on May 10, 2011, and his last post was back in October. But with 312,000 followers he still managed to attract nearly as many fans to his verified account as Africa’s No. 1 most followed leader, Kenyatta.
Rwanda’s leader Paul Kagame is hardly a prolific tweeter – he’s been using the service since May 15, 2009, and has left his 249,000 followers 2,384 messages. What’s unique about Kagame is he provides his personal email address in his bio for people to contact him directly.
Most of Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete’s tweets are in Kiswahili, although some, like the one above, are in English. Kikwete joined Twitter in March 2011, and quickly learned it was an effective tool for reaching his fellow Tanzanians. In the last 2.5 years he has posted 1,526 times and amassed 126,000 followers.
Nigerians love to tweet, and after a three-year hiatus their president appears to be getting back into the chirp of things too, sending out three retweets in January. This is a big deal because before this he had been completely silent since May 10, 2011. No one knows why he stopped tweeting, but his account still manages to have more than 66,000 followers. Of course, there is a possibility that this account — which isn’t verified — is bogus. When you search for Goodluck on Twitter, multiple handles come up, including one declaring itself as a parody feed.
Tunisia’s leader has sent out 1,334 tweets since March 2011 when he joined Twitter in the middle of the Tunisian revolution. He currently has 178,000 followers and follows only 11 people. His tweets are in Arabic and he often posts links to YouTube videos of public appearances.
Perhaps the most intriguing Twitter story of them all belongs to the Somalian government, which has been using the social network as a medium for rebranding itself since early 2013. The president, prime minister and foreign minister are all active tweeters. The verified Villa Somalia is the official account for the presidency and has garnered 11,600 followers since sending its first tweet on Nov. 15, 2012.
The Ghanaian president has a verified Twitter account with some 37,100 followers. It was started in July 2012 when he first took office, and either he or his staff have sent out 375 tweets since. Most of these are written in the third person and usually involve official presidential business.
The Togolese president has been tweeting since Aug. 27, 2012 and has sent out some 500 tweets to his 3,312 followers. He tweets in French, and often uses the first person. According to Twiplomacy some of his tweets are “extremely controversial.”
Ivory Coast president, Alassane Ouattara, a former World Bank economist, created his account on Oct. 29, 2009 and has around 20,600 followers. Since joining, he has sent out more than 3,750 tweets in French, most pertaining to official business and often linking to a news story.
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