PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete is among eight African leaders actively interacting with friends, colleagues and relatives through Twitter. Mr Kikwete joins his peers in Rwanda and Uganda where presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni are also interacting on Twitter.
Mr Kikwete, who has 39,259 followers behind Mr Kagame's 85,781 – but ahead of Mr Museveni who has 9,328 followers, is one of the few African presidents who tend to cover government initiatives, interesting news stories and odd inspirational quote.
The president tweets almost entirely in Kiswahili with tweets in English on very rare occasions, researchers following the African leaders said. Mr Kagame's verified Twitter account is written in English but strangely, the Rwandan president's tweets read like an ordinary citizen for the most part, making use of abbreviations and text speak from time to time.
The content of his tweets include diatribes at his perceived enemies, shout-outs to people he has met, conversations with his followers and inspirational messages. Museveni's account, which is exclusively in English, addresses current affairs stories – particularly those that discuss Uganda. He tends to refute any negative press about Uganda and propagandist undertones can be read into the positive messages that populate the account.
Many African presidents have a presence on social networking platforms. Twitter has proven a tough nut to crack for many of them, but at least eight African presidents have active accounts with regular updates, the report said. These leaders make use of Twitter for a number of reasons, including commenting on news stories, self-promotion and, very rarely, engaging with their followers.
These kinds of accounts are often run by staffers, and world leaders tend to be quite cagey. There are many other Twitter accounts for African presidents that did not make this list due to inactivity or the fact that they are rarely updated. Newly-appointed Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi has the most followers at more than 519,000 while presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo have 2,621 and 147 followers,respectively.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Outtara and Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki are also active on Twitter with 5,210 and 89,799 followers, respectively.
Editor's note – African presidents on Twitter
@adosolutions (Alassane Outtara)
@SAPresident (Jacob Zuma)
via Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)