Social media has been found to be a veritable tool to connect with and market to prospects, customers and fans. Facebook has specifically been a platform that some African Heads of States use to reach out to their citizens and to run campaigns. Interest in their Facebook pages is at an all-time high as fan growth rates have increased over the past few years. These African leaders have joined their western peers who have been using Facebook and Twitter to increase their popularity.
Here are the top 10 African Presidents with the highest Facebook likes as of February 2015.
10) Macky Sall – 117,388 likes
In March 2012, he won an election replacing Abdoulaye Wade, who ran for a third term in office. Formerly a close associate of Wade, He broke away in 2008 to form his own party.
He prefers reducing the presidential term from seven years to five and limiting the number of consecutive terms a president can serve to two. This helped him to win the endorsement of other candidates in the run-off against his predecessor.
9) Yoweri Museveni – 164,809 Likes (Verified Account)
Uganda’s President had his claim to fame in November 2010, when his song, “You Want Another Rap?” became popular on YouTube. Seeking re-election at the time – Museveni who has been President since 1986, was purported to have made the video as a campaign tool.
His selfie also went viral with the photos posted on the President’s Facebook account attracting thousands of comments.
8) Beji Caid Essebsi – 185,744 Likes
Essebsi became Tunisia’s president in December 2014. Essebsi is politically savvy and pragmatic and has to be credited for agreeing to enter a dialogue in 2013 with his arch-enemies, the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, to resolve a political crisis at the time. This move endeared him further to his fans.
7) Ali Bongo Ondimba – 214,679 Likes (Verified Account)
He won the presidential election on September 3, 2009. He had been widely tipped to succeed his father, Omar Bongo, who died in June after 42 years in power.
Ali Bongo is one of the youngest leaders in Africa and a gifted musician – a talent he inherited from his mother, the Gabonese singer Patience Dabany. He is also a passionate football fan, a hobby he shares with many of his people.
6) Paul Kagame – 350,398 Likes
He is the most popular African leader on social media. Dubbed by the International Telecommunications Union as the “Digital President”, Rwanda’s Kagame has made social media like a second home as social media analysts say he is Africa’s most conversational president. He has the biggest following on Twitter than any other African leader with @PaulKagame having over 777,871 followers as at 11 February 2015.
His official website has links to his Facebook page, Twitter account, Youtube channel, and Flickr site. He is most notably known for his Twitter activity, where he spars with journalists, comments on foreign issues, and even cheers his favorite soccer team.
5) John Dramani Mahama – 451,171 likes
Mahama’s account was opened in August 2012 after he first took office, following the unexpected death of former Ghanaian President John Atta Mills. He also has a verified Twitter account with over 89,000 followers.
4) Abdelaziz Bouteflika – 726,792 Likes (Verified Account)
Algeria’s longest serving president won the 1999 elections and secured landslide victories in 2004 and 2009. He went on to win a fourth term in office in April 2014, despite not campaigning and rarely appearing in public after having suffered a stroke in 2013.
Bouteflika remains popular, being credited with helping to end the devastating 1990s civil war and contain Arab Spring protests in 2011.
3) Uhuru Kenyatta – 1,491,982 Likes (Verified Account)
The fourth president of Kenya is praised as one of the coolest presidents in Africa. Unlike his predecessors, he has taken to being approachable.
Facebook started out as a tool for his 2011-2012 presidential campaign but he is now the most active African head of state on social media connecting with his fans. To stay up to date with his involvements over the past week, check his social media pages.