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Updated: African leaders on Facebook (March 2011)

March 20, 2011  »  StatisticsOne Comment

africa seriesThis 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.
Also noteworthy:

  • 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:

CountryPresident (or other title)Facebook Page Type (hyperlinked)# of Likes% Change since December 2010 (3 months)
AlgeriaAbdelaziz BouteflikaOfficial Page1497018%
AngolaJose Dos SantosCommunity Page1202192%
BeninThomas Yayi BoniOfficial Page571115%
BotswanaSeretse Khama Ian KhamaCommunity Page77-1%
Burkina FasoBlaise CompaoréUnofficial Page779138%
BurundiPierre NkurunzizaCommunity Page25839%
CameroonBiya PaulPrivate Profile1274-2%
Cape VerdePedro PiresCommunity Page68257%
Central African RepublicFrancois Bozize YangouvondaPersonal Profile?157-2%
ChadLt Gen. Idriss DebyPublic Profile498354%
ComorosAhmed Abdallah SambiCommunity Page594%
Congo, Republic ofDenis Sassou-NguessoOfficial Page | Private Profile4952 / 135623% / -4%
Congo, Democratic Republic ofJoseph KabilaPrivate Profile | Official Page4395 / 2652-13%
Cote d'IvoireLaurent GbagboOfficial Page31687106%
Cote d'IvoireAlassane OuattaraCommunity Page81n/a
DjiboutiIsmail Omar GuellehUnofficial Page?339432%
Egypt*Mohamed Hussein TantawiCommunity Page37n/a
(Egypt)ex (Hosni Mubarak)Unofficial Page2786377%
Equatorial GuineaBrig. Gen. (ret) Teodoro Obiang Nguema MbasogoCommunity Page2932%
EritreaIsaias AfeworkiUnofficial Page620619%
EthiopiaMeles Zenawi (PM)Community Page415-51%
GabonAli Bongo OndimbaCommunity Page / Unofficial Page575 / 1137-2% / -100%
The GambiaYahya JammehUnofficial Page462823%
GhanaJohn Evans Atta-MillsUnofficial Page1469831%
GuineaSékouba KonatéUnofficial Page319916%
Guinea-BissauMalam Bacai SanhaUnofficial Page5736%
KenyaMwai KibakiUnofficial Page7955929%
LesothoKing Letsie III (King)Unofficial Page416512%
LiberiaEllen Sirleaf JohnsonOfficial Page?387815%
LibyaCol. Mu'ammar al-QadhafiUnofficial Page424452%
MadagascarAndry RajoelinaUnofficial Page116729%
MalawiBingu wa MutharikaGroup | Community Page70 / 86-5%
MaliAmadou Toumani ToureGroup 1 | Group 21467 / 9824% / 5%
MauritaniaBa Mamadou MbaréCommunity Page00%
MauritiusSir Anerood JugnauthUnofficial Page7045%
MoroccoKing Mohamed VI (King)Unofficial Page7443325%
MozambiqueArmando Emilio GuebuzaOfficial Page?256138%
NamibiaHifikepunye PohambaGroup3030%
NigerSalou Djibo (Head of Military Junta)Community Page23845%
NigeriaDr. Goodluck JonathanOfficial Page51138650%
RwandaPaul KagameUnofficial Page1362921%
Sao Tome & PrincipeFradique De MenezesCommunity Page268%
SenegalAbdoulaye WadeUnofficial Page378528%
SeychellesJames MichelPublic Profile48386%
Sierra LeoneErnest Bai KoromaUnofficial Page14294%
SomaliaAdan Mohamed Nurr "Madobe" (Interim President)Community Page00%
South AfricaJacob Gedleyihlekisa ZumaUnofficial Page2084742%
SudanOmar Hassan al-BashirGroup457%
SwazilandKing Msati III (King)Community Page3737%
TanzaniaJakaya KikweteOfficial Page2794631%
TogoFaure GnassingbeGroup2215%
Tunisia*Fouad MebazaaCommunity Page3n/a
(Tunisia)ex (Zine El Abidine Ben Ali)Official Page0-100%
UgandaLt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MuseveniUnofficial Page / Profile4853 / 791n/a
ZambiaRupiah BandaCommunity Page53104%
ZimbabweRobert Gabriel MugabeUnofficial Page | Community Page3549 / 320068% / 110%
ZimbabweMorgan Tsvangirai (PM)Official Page602266%


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.