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Rwanda: Paul Kagame Supporters Turn to Power of Twitter, Facebook and Blogs

Supporters of the president Paul Kagame of Rwanda have turned to the power of Facebook, Twitter and blogs to help him win presidential election that will be held on 9 August 2010.

MyKagame is an online fan club for Paul Kagame. This is what the club is all about:

As a career statesman with a rich profile and long list of accomplishments, President Paul Kagame has a large following of admirers who look up to look up to him for guidance as Hero. This is their platform. The Fan Club is managed entirely by the president’s fans as a group with a common cause, purpose and direction.

As a fan of President Kagame, this August campaign is about you. Your voice counts. This is your platform to share thoughts and advise on issues to address during and after the presidential elections. Stand up for what you believe in, make Rwanda proud!

You may get involved in several ways:

Connecting with other supporters through Fan Club blogs.

Joining grassroots efforts to support the President’s campaign

Spreading the word about the Fan Club and our Hero’s agenda for Rwanda especially during the upcoming Presidential campaign.

Boosting morale of people who share our values and love Rwanda.

In addition to its website, the club has a blog. Following are two recent posts on the blogs:

1. Rwanda's strides to build a regional ICT hub:

Rwanda has positioned itself as a regional hub for information and communication technology (ICT) with a robust ICT industry, including e-commerce, e-services, applications development, and automation. It is believed that ICT will be harnessed to generate wealth and be a key economic driver. As part of its policy goal to progressively transform Rwanda from a predominantly agriculture economy to a predominantly information-rich, knowledge-based economy (PIKE), the Government committed itself to the implementation of the envisaged four rolling NICI/ICT4D Plans over the 20 year life-span of Vision 2020 and the ICT4D Policy.

2. Our hero is cleared by NEC to contest:

As highly expected by the fans, President Paul Kagame was among the four candidates cleared yesterday by the The National Electoral Commission to contest in the August 09 poll.

NEC has accepted Kagame’s application for the race after the RPF returned as its flag bearer to run for the second and final term as provided for by in the constitution.

For this term, President Kagame has pledged to put leadership in the hands of the people. It will strengthen further the integration of the youth, women, vulnerable groups and the civil society. He also promises to fortify the means of disseminating information and consolidate the country’s security and sovereignty

There is a Facebook page called Paul Kagame will win 2010 presidential elections. At the time of writing this post there were 3,408 followeres. Following are a few messages on its wall:

Moses Ndayisenga says:

May God bless Rwanda's paul kagame in his victory b'se he won 2010 election.VIVA KPAUL. OUR Mzee

Siriba AbdulKarim says:

May God be with you in leading Rwandans to their social welfare. Keep it up!

Sangano Gentle adds:

Yes our beloved PRESIDENt is gonna win 2010 ELECTION.no one like him.

There are two other Facebook pages for Kagame; PaulKagame with 6,327 followers and Paul Kagame with 8,169 followers (at the time of writing this post).

The latest message on PaulKagame page reads:

today co-chaired the meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development held in Geneva, Switzerland.
In his remarks said “… There
is no doubt, that using Broadband to unleash peoples’ full potential is an
economic imperative for attaining an inclusive and prosperous global economic
society…Leaders in governmen…t, business and civil society organizations must be accountable to achieve concrete results.”

A speech by Paul Kagame at the 16th Commemoration of The Genocide is the latest message on Paul Kagame page.

One of the topics on the page is about the administrator/creator of the page. There were fears that the administrator may have passed away without the knowledge of his followers:

Mukiza I have this feeling that the anonymous admin for this page may have silently met his or her creator without our knowledge.
For what explains the fact that this page has gone non-updated since august of 2009.
That is a hell of a long time for a live person to be that un-responsive.

If my worries are founded,then my sincere condolences are guaranteed.

The administrator joined the discussion explaining his silence:

Paul Kagame Still kicking, I'm afraid ;)

I recently moved cities and have been largely without the internet for the past 3 months as well as splitting up with my partner of over a year. I'm sorry for neglecting you, but I still check in whenever I can. Unfortunately even admins are human.

If anyone has any complaints all they have to do is make a topic and I'll see it.

As for the page, well it seems to take care of itself pretty much, or so it seems to me. But I'll do some spring cleaning.

But maybe I've grabbed the wrong end of the stick here, is this a coup? Would the community like me to step down? :)

~ The Administrator

Kagame supporters are also on the popular microblogging site, Twitter. There is paulkagame, which is private (196 followers) and PaulKagame with 964 followers.

The latest tweet on PaulKagame reads:

in Eastern Province yesterday, commended success of land distribution and agricultural surplus -pledged more government support

There is also Paul Kagame photostream on Flickr and Paul Kagame podcast and pK blogs on paulkagame.com

We will have to wait and see the overall impact of social media in the 2010 presidential election in Rwanda.

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

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