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Africa's Top Political Tweeters? Let's Fix The Guardian's List

On 30 October 2012, the Guardian published ‘Africa's top tweeters: political pioneers in the digital debate’. Did The Guardian’s David Smith get away with this piece too easily?

The Sub-Saharan Africa bloggers of Global Voices think so.

Several countries are omitted and not a single Francophone or Lusophone politician appears on the list. And where are the women? Africa's female politicians are on the rise. Currently, Malawi and Liberia have female presidents while a Ugandan female teenager recently became Africa's youngest Member of Parliament.

Are key people and countries really identified in The Guardian's list?

Which politicians* should really be on the list? There is also the issue of followers vs engagement. Some of our community members have pointed out that there can be a huge difference between a number of followers and debate/engagement since the list is really about ‘political pioneers in the digital debate'. One member said:

Politicians like Martha Karua in Kenya are more engaging on Twitter even though they have less followers than other top politicians.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame visiting kids at the Ibirunga Tennis Court in Musanze Town after accepting Twitter invitation sent by a Kenyan blogger in March 2011. Photo courtesy of SavyKenya

We decided to crowdsource an alternative comprehensive list and you can contribute here.

When you add a politician to the document, please add provide the following information:

  • Twitter handle
  • Number Following
  • Number of Followers
  • Number of Tweets
  • Brief description of the politician's use of Twitter – how is she/he unique?

Please join us by adding to the list or by suggesting the best mechanism for selecting who should be considered political pioneers in the digital debate in Africa.

*We are focusing on active politicians (not political tweeps or public leaders).

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