Kagame ‘Most Conversational’ Leader on Twitter

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By Godfrey Ntagungira

President Paul Kagame is the most conversational world leader with 79 percent of his tweets being replies to other Twitter users.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is the most conversational world leader with 79 percent of his tweets being replies to other Twitter users.

According to Twiplomacy, the Kagame sometimes gets into Twitter exchanges with his critics, even sometimes chats publicly with his children. The president’s personal Twitter engagement shows that, even if you have 1.6 million Twitter followers, you can still be on top of the conversation and personally reply to comments on your Twitter feed.

Twiplomacy is the pre-eminent global study of world leaders on social media, conducted by leading strategic communications and global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.

Kagame joined Twitter in May 2009, nearly three years after the social media platform was established in 2006. His tweets range from both national and international issues as well as personal and entertaining.

It’s normal for him to tweet wishing happy birthdays and congratulate or criticize teams like Arsenal and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta is Sub-Saharan Africa’s most followed leader with 2 million followers, followed by Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari with more than 1 million followers each.

Kagame has 1.636,163 Twitter followers as social media has become diplomacy’s significant other. Tweeter has gone from being an afterthought to being the very first thought of world leaders and governments across the globe, as audiences flock to their Twitter newsfeeds for the latest news and statements.

The survey also puts Kagame’s account as the most active in the world at 86% reply rate to tweets.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi is in fifth position, occasionally holding Twitter chats with the hashtag #TalkToPMRwanda and half of the 2,219 tweets of Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo are also direct replies to questions from followers.

The annual Twiplomacy index shows how world governments use the social media platform in communicating with their followers.

Since the departure of former U.S. President Barack Obama, who was the uncontested political leader of the digital world, Pope Francis has become the most followed world leader with more than 33.7 million followers on his nine language accounts.

U.S. President Donald Trump is the second-most followed world leader, with 30.1 million followers on his personal Twitter account. The third-most followed world leader is Indian Prime Minister who has 30 million followers on his personal account and 18 million followers on his institutional account.

In Latin America, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has 6.3 million followers, far ahead of Colombia’s President, Argentina’s and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, each with well over 3 million followers.

On Hashtag Diplomacy Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Rwanda feature prominently as they are consistently mentioned on his government’s Twitter accounts. India’s President Mukherjee, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former German Foreign Minister and now President Frank Walter Steinmeier are also among the 250 most used hashtags.

Dormant Accounts

The survey states that the personal Twitter account of South African President Jacob Zuma has been dormant since 2013 and his 425,000 followers are still waiting for their next tweet.

Other leaders such as Indonesian President Joko Widodo Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, and former President François Hollande also suspended their Twitter activity for a period of time, but then reactivated their accounts as the next election campaign approached.




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