Most Conversational African Leaders On Twitter For 2020

by Duke Magazine

The world has badly been impacted with outbreak of the novel coronavirus that has stalled human endeavors for the past five (5) months. 

The fear of the spread of the virus, which was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan and infected over 15 million people with over 600,000 fatalities globally, has led to the institution of various forms of restrictions including initiating a quarantine mode to limit tête-à-tête amongst people in public settings. 

As succinctly captured by an executive summary of this year’s Twiplomacy study: “COVID-19 has thoroughly upended diplomacy, a profession which involves a fair amount of travel, physical meetings, and in-person interactions. 

“The traditional work of world leaders and diplomats has come to a sudden stop as travel restrictions, border closures and shelter-in-place orders have scuppered in-person diplomatic activity.”

With no more physical meetings, bilateral summits, or multi-lateral gatherings, world leaders and diplomats had to adapt to working from home and have been “thrust into virtual meetings,” the summary continues. And diplomacy became truly digital to leverage upon.

However, here is a look at three African leaders that make the list of the most conversational world leaders on the microblogging platform, Twitter, according to 2020 Twiplomacy study. 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Image credit: Pawan Singh/The National

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame

Born in October 1957, Paul Kagame became president of Rwanda in 2000 after leading the Rwandan Patriotic Front to defeat Hutu extremist forces to end the 1994 Rwandan genocide. 

At least 800,000 people (ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus) were massacred in 100 days by Hutu militias during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. More than two million refugees fled Rwanda, generating a humanitarian crisis.

Kagame, according to the study, sent 2,125 tweets in 2020 with 74 percent @replies.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi. Image credit: France 24

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Félix Tshisekedi

Born on 13 June 1963, Félix Tshisekedi has been the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 25th January 2019 after the country’s constitutional court upheld his presidential election victory and rejected a challenge brought to it by the opposition.

Tshisekedi sent out 300 tweets this year with 56 percent being @-replies.

Umaro Sissoco Embalo

Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo

Umaro Sissoco Embalo assumed the presidential seat of the Francophone country in 2019 after winning 53.55% of the votes in a runoff vote election on Dec. 30.

After months of dispute over the results, the Economic of West Africa States (ECOWAS) recognized Embalo as the winner of Guinea-Bissau’s presidential election.

According to the study he made 299 tweets out of which 36 percent were sent as @-replies.

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