Listing the African Leaders active on Facebook (July 2010)
As Internet penetration takes hold in Africa, leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the power of social media. Facebook pages, in addition to creating a sense of political involvement, also can manage a President’s image. These pages provide governmental updates and allow leaders to at least appear accessible and open to public input. In fact, leaders of Algeria, Benin, Rep. of the Congo, Congo DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe seem to already have taken this step. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan perhaps has the most voracious following; he routinely has 2,500 Nigerians comment on his ideas. However, the majority of African leaders do not yet maintain a public social media presence. In many areas the lack of a page simply has to do with efficiency. After all, there is no point in trying to communicate with a population who is not yet online, let alone participating on the Facebooks of the world.
Of course, it is often difficult to spot a legitimate Facebook page run by an African president (Facebook doesn’t provide a designation). For each leader there are usually a couple of rogue pages, groups, or even profiles that act as the leader. In some cases where an official page does not exist, one thousand or more individuals will show their patriotism by supporting a “ghost” leader. Hopefully Facebook users are clever enough to spot the difference.
The following table lists all top African heads of state (usually President) and provides a link to the most popular Facebook page, group, or profile 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.
Finally, the list:
Country President (or other title) Facebook Page Type (hyperlinked) # of Likes, Friends, or Fans
Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika Official Page 9872
Angola Jose Dos Santos Community Page 67
Benin Thomas Yayi Boni Official Page 4106
Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama Community Page 34
Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré Unofficial Page 3000
Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza Community Page 44
Cameroon Biya Paul Private Profile 1365
Cape Verde Pedro Pires Community Page 23
Central African Republic François Bozizé Yangouvonda Personal Profile? 168
Chad Lt Gen. Idriss Deby Public Profile 1080
Comoros Ahmed Abdallah Sambi Community Page 40
Congo, Republic of Denis Sassou-Nguesso Official Page | Private Profile 2504 / 1502
Congo, Democratic Republic of Joseph Kabila Private Profile | Official Page 4799 / 1190
Cote d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo Official Page 2724
Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh Unofficial Page? 1459
Egypt Hosni Mubarak Unofficial Page 12266
Equatorial Guinea Brig. Gen. (ret) Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Unofficial Page 516
Eritrea Isaias Afeworki Unofficial Page 3167
Ethiopia Meles Zenawi (PM) Private Profile 2087
Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba Private Profile | Community Page 1784 / 573
The Gambia Yahya Jammeh Unofficial Page 2577
Ghana John Evans Atta-Mills Unofficial Page 5316
Guinea Sékouba Konaté Unofficial Page 1622
Guinea-Bissau Malam Bacai Sanha Unofficial Page 29
Kenya Mwai Kibaki Unofficial Page 17732
Lesotho King Letsie III (King) Unofficial Page 2773
Liberia Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Official Page? 2445
Libya Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Unofficial Page 2227
Madagascar Andry Rajoelina Unofficial Page 729
Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika Group | Community Page 70 / 5
Mali Amadou Toumani Toure Group 1 | Group 2 1248 / 921
Mauritania Ba Mamadou Mbaré Community Page 0
Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth Unofficial Page 478
Morocco King Mohamed VI (King) Unofficial Page 39697
Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza Official Page? 934
Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba Group 297
Niger Salou Djibo (Head of Military Junta) Community Page 37
Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Official Page 95304
Rwanda Paul Kagame Unofficial Page 8055
Sao Tome & Principe Fradique De Menezes Community Page 4
Senegal Abdoulaye Wade Unofficial Page 1687
Seychelles James Michel Public Profile 2080
Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma Unofficial Page 1133
Somalia Adan Mohamed Nurr "Madobe" (Interim President) Community Page 0
South Africa Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Unofficial Page 10323
Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir Group 43
Swaziland King Msati III (King) Community Page 11
Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete Official Page 5954
Togo Faure Gnassingbe Group 207
Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Official Page 160039
Uganda Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Unofficial Page 3013
Zambia Rupiah Banda Community Page 1
Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe Unofficial Page | Community Page 1024 / 391
Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai (PM) Official Page 49341