CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

26 June 2014

Kenya: President Kenyatta(@ukenyatta), Most Followed President in Africa On Twitter

President Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) has been rated as the Africa's most followed president on twitter ahead of Rwanda's president, His Excellency Paul Kagame, (@PaulKagame).

This is according to a study, dubbed as Twiplomacy which is an annual global study of world leaders on Twitter by Burson-Marsteller,

President Uhuru Kenyatta has 456,209 twitter followers. In second place comes President Paul Kagame and at third position comes South Africa's president Jacob Zuma (@SAPresident) Ugandan Prime Minister @AmamaMbabazi is the most conversational world leader on Twitter. Ninety-five percent of his tweets are @replies to other Twitter users.

The study also revealed that more than 83 percent of all United Nations (UN) governments have a presence on Twitter, and two-thirds (68 percent) of all heads of state and government have personal Twitter accounts.

Since his election in late May 2014, India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@ NarendraModi) has become the fifth-most followed world leader on Twitter, with 4,967,847 followers. He is expected to surpass the United States White House account, @WhiteHouse (4,976,734) today and is using Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages.

Twiplomacy aims to identify the extent to which world leaders use Twitter and how they connect on the social network. In early June 2014, Burson-Marsteller analyzed 643 government accounts in 161 countries. Only 32 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia-Pacific, do not have any Twitter presence.

As of 24 June 2014, the five most followed world leaders were U.S. President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) (43 million followers of the U.S. president's campaign account), Pope Francis (@Pontifex) with 14 million followers on his nine different language accounts, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono) (5 million followers), the @WhiteHouse and @ NarendraModi.

The study also reveals that the most followed world leaders follow few other peers, and they are hardly conversational. @BarackObama and the @WhiteHouse only follow three other world leaders, namely Norway's Erna Solberg, Russia's Dmitry Medvedev and the UK government. Conversely, foreign ministers use Twitter to establish mutual connections, creating a virtual diplomatic network. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (@LaurentFabius) is the best connected foreign minister, mutually connected to 91 peers and world leaders. The European Union External Action Service, @eu_eeas, is second with 71 mutual connections, and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt (@CarlBildt) is third with 68 mutual connections. These mutual connections among foreign ministers allow for private conversations via direct messages on Twitter.

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