A study done by Portland Communications, a London-based business, shows that nearly 10 percent of the most popular African hashtags in 2015 were related to political issues and politicians. The top political hashtag in Africa was #Nigeriadecides during Nigeria’s presidential election in 2015. Another popular conversation was the strife in Burundi.
Mark Flanagan, Portland’s Senior Partner for Content and Digital Strategy is quoted in a press statement. “Our previous studies showed that Twitter in Africa was much more of a space for social interaction or frivolous banter. This study, our third, demonstrates that the platform is coming of age with the prevalence of serious debate about politics and government”
Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Burundi and Egypt were the most active in political conversations on Twitter.
Attention in politics go beyond national borders. Hashtags about the Nigerian presidential elections and strife in Burundi were among some of the most popular and extensive hashtags across Africa.
English is the most prevailing language on Twitter in Africa. Of the top 5,000 hashtags that we analysed, 77% were tweeted in English. Other top languages like Arabic and French were tweeted significantly less – only 7% and 4% one-to-one.Twitter in Africa is used clearly less for commercial campaigns than in other parts of the world.
Egypt tweets the most out of any country in Africa, with 28% of all geo-located Twitter volume (amounting to 500 million tweets). Nigeria (360 million geo-located tweets), South Africa (325 million geo-located tweets), Kenya (125 million geo-located tweets) and Ghana (70 million geo-located tweets).
— Twiplomacy (@Twiplomacy) April 7, 2016
Rwanda was the only country that had its president, Paul Kagame, among the top ten hashtags on Twitter.
Top 5 countries (by geo-located tweets):
1. Egypt (500m)
2. Nigeria (380m)
3. SA (325m)
4. Kenya (125m)
5. Ghana (70m) #HowAfricaTweets
— Nanjira (@NiNanjira) April 6, 2016
— Alinoor (B) Moulid (@AlinoorMB) April 6, 2016