Updated: African leaders on Facebook (March 2011)
This post is an update of December 2010’s list of African leaders with a Facebook presence. The numbers and a couple of links have been adjusted.
My, how has African Facebook momentum changed in the past 3 months! Less than a year ago, the Internet was buzzing with news of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s social media successes. Recently, however, the focus of African social media has shifted to revolutionary themes.
A solid number of nations, most notably Angola, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Libya, and Egypt have seen extraordinary Facebook growth (assuming the trends regarding leader page fan numbers reflects a general trend of Facebook adoption within the leader’s nation). Most notably:
- Egypt’s former president now has over 27,000 fans on Facebook – most likely the result of sheer international interest in the leader rather than Egyptian support
- The Facebook page for ex-Tunisian President Ben Ali ceases to exist
- Pages for interim Presidents in both Egypt and Tunisia (and Ivory Coast) have few fans
- Disputed Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo now has nearly 32,000 fans after only having 16,000 three months ago. Internationally recognized Alassane Ouattara hardly has a Facebook presence
- Southern African nations of Angola and Zimbabwe showed impressive growth
Again, little has changed in terms of which nations’ leaders have official Facebook pages.
- Zimbabwe’s PM attracted followers at a much lesser rate (6%) than leaders with a similar base in December.
- 9 nations have seen no change or a decrease in fan base. 3 of these (Ethiopia, Gabon, Tunisia) were the result of removed pages.
- Mauritania and Somalia still have no official group for their respective leaders, indicating very low Facebook penetration.
- The private profile of Ethiopia’s PM Zenawi has been removed
- The private profile of Gabon’s Ali Bongo has been removed, but an unofficial page has already attracted nearly as many fans
- On average, the number of fans of a given leader rose 24% over the past 3 months
- Interestingly, despite having hundreds of thousands of fans, the page for Tunisian Ben Ali has disappeared but the page for Egyptian Hosni Mubarak still remains
- Despite having a substantial Internet user base, Libyans tend to not support Col. Gaddafi via Facebook
- For a nation with such a high level of media censorship and an estimated 16,000 Facebook users, Eritrea has 6,200 fans for its leader’s fan page. Many of these fans are most likely diasporans
- In order of sheer fan base: Nigeria (511k), Kenya (80k), Morocco (74k), Zimbabwe (60k), Ivory Coast (32k)
The list as of March 2011:
Country President (or other title) Facebook Page Type (hyperlinked) # of Likes % Change since December 2010 (3 months)
Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika Official Page 14970 18%
Angola Jose Dos Santos Community Page 1202 192%
Benin Thomas Yayi Boni Official Page 5711 15%
Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama Community Page 77 -1%
Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré Unofficial Page 7791 38%
Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza Community Page 258 39%
Cameroon Biya Paul Private Profile 1274 -2%
Cape Verde Pedro Pires Community Page 682 57%
Central African Republic Francois Bozize Yangouvonda Personal Profile? 157 -2%
Chad Lt Gen. Idriss Deby Public Profile 4983 54%
Comoros Ahmed Abdallah Sambi Community Page 59 4%
Congo, Republic of Denis Sassou-Nguesso Official Page | Private Profile 4952 / 1356 23% / -4%
Congo, Democratic Republic of Joseph Kabila Private Profile | Official Page 4395 / 2652 -13%
Cote d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo Official Page 31687 106%
Cote d'Ivoire Alassane Ouattara Community Page 81 n/a
Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh Unofficial Page? 3394 32%
Egypt* Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Community Page 37 n/a
(Egypt) ex (Hosni Mubarak) Unofficial Page 27863 77%
Equatorial Guinea Brig. Gen. (ret) Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Community Page 29 32%
Eritrea Isaias Afeworki Unofficial Page 6206 19%
Ethiopia Meles Zenawi (PM) Community Page 415 -51%
Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba Community Page / Unofficial Page 575 / 1137 -2% / -100%
The Gambia Yahya Jammeh Unofficial Page 4628 23%
Ghana John Evans Atta-Mills Unofficial Page 14698 31%
Guinea Sékouba Konaté Unofficial Page 3199 16%
Guinea-Bissau Malam Bacai Sanha Unofficial Page 57 36%
Kenya Mwai Kibaki Unofficial Page 79559 29%
Lesotho King Letsie III (King) Unofficial Page 4165 12%
Liberia Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Official Page? 3878 15%
Libya Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Unofficial Page 4244 52%
Madagascar Andry Rajoelina Unofficial Page 1167 29%
Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika Group | Community Page 70 / 86 -5%
Mali Amadou Toumani Toure Group 1 | Group 2 1467 / 982 4% / 5%
Mauritania Ba Mamadou Mbaré Community Page 0 0%
Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth Unofficial Page 704 5%
Morocco King Mohamed VI (King) Unofficial Page 74433 25%
Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza Official Page? 2561 38%
Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba Group 303 0%
Niger Salou Djibo (Head of Military Junta) Community Page 238 45%
Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Official Page 511386 50%
Rwanda Paul Kagame Unofficial Page 13629 21%
Sao Tome & Principe Fradique De Menezes Community Page 26 8%
Senegal Abdoulaye Wade Unofficial Page 3785 28%
Seychelles James Michel Public Profile 4838 6%
Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma Unofficial Page 1429 4%
Somalia Adan Mohamed Nurr "Madobe" (Interim President) Community Page 0 0%
South Africa Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Unofficial Page 20847 42%
Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir Group 45 7%
Swaziland King Msati III (King) Community Page 37 37%
Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete Official Page 27946 31%
Togo Faure Gnassingbe Group 221 5%
Tunisia* Fouad Mebazaa Community Page 3 n/a
(Tunisia) ex (Zine El Abidine Ben Ali) Official Page 0 -100%
Uganda Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Unofficial Page / Profile 4853 / 791 n/a
Zambia Rupiah Banda Community Page 53 104%
Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe Unofficial Page | Community Page 3549 / 3200 68% / 110%
Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai (PM) Official Page 60226 6%
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.