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African presidents and governments on Twitter

June 22, 2013  »  WebNo Comment

With greater online access comes the ability for citizens to interact with their governments. By now, nearly every African government has at least one official website (some are updated more often than others), but few have a social media presence. Sure, a fake (yet popular) account may broadcast news from the government (ie. Somalia, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and the list goes on), but official accounts are lacking. As of June 2013, seven African presidents currently have verified Twitter accounts. Even then, the accounts do not always maintain a steady stream of news.

Verified presidential accounts are:

Cameroon: Paul Biya, @PaulBiya (57 Tweets in 2011 around election-time)

Egypt: Muhammad Morsi, @MuhammadMorsi (active, with 1,200 Tweets)

Ghana: John Mahama, @JDMahama (Tweets a few times per month)

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta, @UKenyatta (active with daily Tweets)

Rwanda: Paul Kagame, @PaulKagame (was active in 2011 and part of 2012, but only has 24 Tweets in 2013)

South Africa: Jacob Zuma, @SAPresident (active in 2011, but has only Tweeted 94 times)

Tanzania: Jakaya Kikwete, @jmkikwete (fairly active, with 1,500 Tweets, but only 3 in June 2013)

In addition, a handful of African governments have official streams that are not verified but appear authentic:

Botswana: @bwgovernment (6,650 followers)

Cameroon: @PR_Paul_Biya (4,354 followers)

Kenya: @StateHouseKenya (30,000 followers)

Mali: @PresidenceMali (very active, with 2,400 Tweets since 2012)

Morocco: @maroc_egov (Moroccan e-government program, with 9,800 followers)

Rwanda: @RwandaGov (verified government news stream with 16,600 followers) / @UrugwiroVillage (verified account of the Office of the President)

South Africa: @PresidencyZA (verified as the page of The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa – 123,500 followers)

South Sudan: @repsouthsudan (launched in 2011 after South Sudan became independent, now has 6,200 followers)


List of all African presidents & government accounts – official and not. {Twitter}

Note: Twitter accounts representing African leaders are a big deal. Their mere existence draws in thousands of citizens and diasporans. Even if a government doesn’t operate one, they take copy-cats very seriously. In The Gambia, for example, a 24-year-old was jailed for creating an online social media profile using the president’s name.

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