Updated: African leaders on Facebook (February 2012)
This post is an update of October 2011’s list of African leaders with a Facebook presence. The numbers and a couple of links have been adjusted. Stats from July 2010, December 2010, March 2011, and June 2011 are still available.
As always, the challenge is determining what share of fans of these pages are diasporans. A solid number of nations – most notably Liberia, Senegal, and Gabon – have seen extraordinary Facebook fan page growth in the past 4 months. Pages for leaders in these nations have shown 144%, 110%, and 92% growth rates, respectively, in the number of fans. Abdoulaye Wade’s fans have grown tremendously in advance of this month’s presidential elections. Cameroon’s Paul Biya witnessed similar interest on his Facebook page last year during the election season (his page has grown by 18% since). Other updates for February 2012 include:
- Burkina Faso: Blaise Comparoré has a very official-looking page, even if it may not be official.
- Rwanda: The widely-popular unofficial page for Rwanda’s Paul Kagame is gone – it boasted nearly 20,000 fans. Perhaps this was a move by leadership to reduce confusion?
- Zambia: We found the official page for Zambia’s Rupiah Banda.
- Gabon: Ali Bongo’s page continues to grow by huge margins after becoming official less than a year ago.
- Egypt: Added community page for Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, although there is limited social interest around him.
- Madagascar: Added community page for Andry Rajoelina.
- DRC: The “official page” for Joseph Kabila, with previously 4,000 fans, has been removed. A profile with that many still exists however.
- Chad: One of the two public profiles for Idriss Deby has been removed.
Growth trends & countries of interest:
- Median fan growth rate: 10% over 4.5 months (was 15% for 4 months from June-October 2011 and 23% for 3 months from March-June 2011)
- Given a consistent page, only the leaders of DRC and Seychelles lost fans over the time period.
- Fan count growth of leader pages with greater than 10,000 fans has slowed substantially since last October. Growth is positive, but is only in the 5-10% range: Algeria 14% (was 17%), Ghana 8% (was 10%), Kenya 4% (was 5%), Morocco 2% (was 5%), Nigeria 7% (was 13%), Tanzania 9% (was 8%), Zimbabwe 3% (was 3%).
- Less than 5% growth in Benin, Guinea, Mauritania, Somalia. Benin, and Guinea also were in this range last year.
- The page for Libya’s Col. Gaddafi grew by another 23%
- Mauritania still only has 4 fans of the community page for Ba Mamadou Mbaré. Guinea-Bissau is not much better with 14 fans for Malam Bacai Sanha.
- Solid (40%) growth in Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali.
- Ethiopia’s fan base has doubled from 700 to 1,400 since June 2011 suggesting either a growing interest in politics by diasporans or a domestic adoption of Facebook.
- In order of sheer fan base there is no change in order: Nigeria (699k), Kenya (98k), Morocco (86k), Zimbabwe (67k), Tanzania (35k)
The list as of February 25, 2012:
Country President (or other title) Facebook Page Type (hyperlinked) # of Likes % Change since October 2011 (4.5 months)
Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika Official Page 23071 14%
Angola Jose Dos Santos Community Page 3067 40%
Benin Thomas Yayi Boni Official Page 6577 4%
Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama Unofficial Page 8237 25%
Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré Unofficial Page 10167 8%
Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza Community Page 355 13%
Cameroon Biya Paul Official Page 11393 18%
Cape Verde Pedro Pires Community Page 958 10%
Central African Republic Francois Bozize Yangouvonda Personal Profile? 191 7%
Chad Lt Gen. Idriss Deby Public Profile 2 612 16%
Comoros Ahmed Abdallah Sambi Community Page 82 9%
Congo, Republic of Denis Sassou-Nguesso Official Page | Private Profile 7254 / 1244 10% / -2%
Congo, Democratic Republic of Joseph Kabila Private Profile 4003 -4%
Cote d'Ivoire Alassane Ouattara Unofficial Page 16132 9%
Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh Unofficial Page? 4626 7%
Egypt Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Community Page 286 n/a
Equatorial Guinea Brig. Gen. (ret) Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Community Page 98 27%
Eritrea Isaias Afeworki Unofficial Page 7658 5%
Ethiopia Meles Zenawi (PM) Community Page 1435 38%
Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba Official Page 13023 92%
The Gambia Yahya Jammeh Unofficial Page 6241 7%
Ghana John Evans Atta-Mills Unofficial Page 21782 8%
Guinea Sékouba Konaté Unofficial Page 3702 2%
Guinea-Bissau Malam Bacai Sanha Community Page 14 27%
Kenya Mwai Kibaki Unofficial Page 97765 4%
Lesotho King Letsie III (King) Unofficial Page 5303 6%
Liberia Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Community Page 2698 144%
Libya Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Unofficial Page 9199 27%
Madagascar Andry Rajoelina Community Page 484 n/a
Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika Community Page 269 37%
Mali Amadou Toumani Toure Unofficial Page 322 46%
Mauritania Ba Mamadou Mbaré Community Page 4 0%
Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth Unofficial Page 860 8%
Morocco King Mohamed VI (King) Unofficial Page 86353 2%
Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza Official Page? 4044 15%
Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba Community Page 714 20%
Niger Salou Djibo (Head of Military Junta) Unofficial Page 1380 5%
Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Official Page 699073 7%
Rwanda Paul Kagame Community Page 2184 n/a
Sao Tome & Principe Fradique De Menezes Community Page 14 17%
Senegal Abdoulaye Wade Unofficial Page | Community Page 1882 / 1263 107% / 115%
Seychelles James Michel Public Profile 4750 -2%
Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma Community Page 1448 13%
Somalia Sharif Ahmed Unofficial Page 3594 4%
South Africa Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Community Page 5411 37%
South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit Community Page 910 21%
Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir Community Page 158 14%
Swaziland King Msati III (King) Community Page 76 15%
Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete Official Page 34727 9%
Togo Faure Gnassingbe "Fan Club" 4684 6%
Tunisia Fouad Mebazaa Unofficial Page 46 18%
Uganda Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Unofficial Page / Profile 7085 / 1332 10% / -1%
Zambia Rupiah Banda Official Page? 3332 n/a
Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe Community Page 7962 48%
Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai (PM) Official Page 67190 3%
The above table lists all top African heads of state (usually President) and provides a link to the one or two most popular Facebook pages, groups, or profiles for a given leader. The final column shows how many users are interested in the particular leader. Loose definitions of the page-types:
- Official page: A page run by the actual leader.
- Public profile: A presidential account with a public wall and information about the leader.
- Private profile: An seemingly real account without a public wall or information about the leader.
- Unofficial page: A user-created page that serves as the leader.
- Group: A user-created group dedicated to a leader.
- Community page: A placeholder courtesy of Wikipedia for cases when no user-generated page exists.