Updated: African leaders on Facebook (December 2010)
This post is an update of July 2010’s list of African leaders with a Facebook presence. The numbers and a couple of links have been adjusted. Additionally, a column showing the percentage increase in fans/followers is now available. The % provides a loose idea of how popular Facebook has become within a given nation.
Only a few months ago, the Internet was buzzing with news of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s social media successes. How has African Facebook momentum changed in the past 5 months? Have other leaders adopted social media and to what extent have citizens turned to theses pages for information and support?
Not surprisingly, a solid number, most notably Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Kenya, Chad, and Ghana 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:
- Nigeria’s Googluck Jonathan gained 250,000 fans and is by far the most popular African leader on Facebook before adjusting for population.
- Cote d’Ivoire’s Laurent Gbagbo saw an impressive 465% gain, going from 2,700 to 15,000 over the period.
Moreover, little has changed in terms of which nations’ leaders have active (and official) Facebook pages. Like before, many of the pages, often followed by thousands of citizens, are not actually maintained by the real leader or his staff. Wall posts often consist of quotes by the leader that have been published in other media sources. There is nothing inherently wrong with such fair attribution, but the types of responses from Facebook fans who appear to direct their feedback at the leader are concerning. Also:
- Zimbabwe’s PM attracted followers at a much lesser rate (16%) than leaders with a similar base in July.
- Only 7 nations have seen no change or a decrease in fan base. 2 of these were the result of removed pages.
- Mauritania and Somalia still have no official group for their respective leaders, indicating very low Facebook penetration.
- The unofficial page for Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was deleted, reason unknown.
- Per capita, and assuming that all fans of leaders are located in the leader’s country, Seychelles has the most people (about 1 in every 20), followed by Tunisia (1 in every 50). Using this same assumption, 1 in every 20 Americans likes President Barack Obama on Facebook.
- Nations at the bottom of the fans-per-capita estimate include Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Niger, Burundi, and Swaziland.
The list as of December 2010:
Country President (or other title) Facebook Page Type (hyperlinked) # of Likes, Friends, or Fans (December 2010) % Change since July 2010 (5 months)
Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika Official Page 12658 28%
Angola Jose Dos Santos Community Page 412 515%
Benin Thomas Yayi Boni Official Page 4982 21%
Botswana Seretse Khama Ian Khama Community Page 78 129%
Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré Unofficial Page 5629 88%
Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza Community Page 185 320%
Cameroon Biya Paul Private Profile 1303 -5%
Cape Verde Pedro Pires Community Page 435 1791%
Central African Republic François Bozizé Yangouvonda Personal Profile? 160 -5%
Chad Lt Gen. Idriss Deby Public Profile 3233 199%
Comoros Ahmed Abdallah Sambi Community Page 57 43%
Congo, Republic of Denis Sassou-Nguesso Official Page | Private Profile 4020 / 1417 61% / -6%
Congo, Democratic Republic of Joseph Kabila Private Profile | Official Page 4533 / 2136 -6% / 79%
Cote d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo Official Page 15377 465%
Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh Unofficial Page? 2573 76%
Egypt Hosni Mubarak Unofficial Page 15723 28%
Equatorial Guinea Brig. Gen. (ret) Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Community Page 22 -96% *unofficial page removed
Eritrea Isaias Afeworki Unofficial Page 5228 65%
Ethiopia Meles Zenawi (PM) Unofficial Page 846 -59% *was previously a private profile
Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba Community Page 0 / 588 -100% / 3% *private profile removed
The Gambia Yahya Jammeh Unofficial Page 3772 46%
Ghana John Evans Atta-Mills Unofficial Page 11220 111%
Guinea Sékouba Konaté Unofficial Page 2750 70%
Guinea-Bissau Malam Bacai Sanha Unofficial Page 42 45%
Kenya Mwai Kibaki Unofficial Page 61510 247%
Lesotho King Letsie III (King) Unofficial Page 3711 34%
Liberia Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Official Page? 3381 38%
Libya Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Unofficial Page 2796 26%
Madagascar Andry Rajoelina Unofficial Page 906 24%
Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika Group | Community Page 73 / 47 4% / 840%
Mali Amadou Toumani Toure Group 1 | Group 2 1406 / 935 13% / 2%
Mauritania Ba Mamadou Mbaré Community Page 0 0%
Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth Unofficial Page 671 40%
Morocco King Mohamed VI (King) Unofficial Page 59744 51%
Mozambique Armando Emilio Guebuza Official Page? 1856 99%
Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba Group 304 2%
Niger Salou Djibo (Head of Military Junta) Community Page 164 343%
Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Official Page 341759 259%
Rwanda Paul Kagame Unofficial Page 11272 40%
Sao Tome & Principe Fradique De Menezes Community Page 24 500%
Senegal Abdoulaye Wade Unofficial Page 2960 75%
Seychelles James Michel Public Profile 4571 120%
Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma Unofficial Page 1371 21%
Somalia Adan Mohamed Nurr "Madobe" (Interim President) Community Page 0 0%
South Africa Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Unofficial Page 14714 43%
Sudan Omar Hassan al-Bashir Group 42 -2%
Swaziland King Msati III (King) Community Page 27 145%
Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete Official Page 21306 258%
Togo Faure Gnassingbe Group 211 2%
Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Official Page 232424 45%
Uganda Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Unofficial Page 5352 78%
Zambia Rupiah Banda Community Page 26 2500%
Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe Unofficial Page | Community Page 2111 / 1524 106% / 290%
Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai (PM) Official Page 57072 16%
The above 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.
A visualization of the data can be found on thanks to Rhiza Labs Community Insight.