Africa: ‘Foreign Policy Twitterati 100′ Ignoring Africans ?

Following  Forein Policy Magazine article on the 2011 ‘Twitterati 100′, blogger Pernille Bærendtsen posted an article:  ‘THE FP TWITTERATI 100′ – WHERE ARE THE AFRICANS?’. The author notes that among the 100 listed, only two are Africans (President of Rwanda @Paul Kagame and Ugandan journalist @AndrewMwenda). @DambisaMoyo, Zambian author and economist, is also mentioned.


  • Interesting! Because it’s almost the same thing when it comes to the Middle East. About half – if not more – of the tweeps mentioned there are non-Middle-Easterns. Which makes me wonder, how foreign media perceive a certain region in the world, if they do not really listen to those born and raised and aware more of that region.

    When it comes to newspapers, I might go to a western newspaper for African news because it might be a bigger and easier to reach media outlet, but on twitter! Why should I get my news from a western journalist living in Africa, when I already have tweeps from Africa to follow!

    • Hi Tarek,
      Thanks for your comment. Your point is very interesting. Probably all this was not a malicious intent, but more a sort of cultural tropism: you tend to rely on what is said by people who resemble you.

  • jke

    Their list is from a US-point of view, right? I could name a dozen alone from the list i am maintaining at (and it only includes 500 due to Twitter’s limitations). Ah well.

  • Dear GV,

    Thanks for picking up.

    However, I need to say that you must quote me correctly – this is what I blogged: ‘in the ‘Africa’ category only one out of five, namely Andrew Mwenda from Uganda, is an African.’

    I didn’t blog this: ‘The author notes that among the 100 listed, only two are Africans’.

    Greetings Pernille

    • Dear Pernille,

      Thank you for your comment and your blogpost. I mentionned it but did not quote specifically any of your sentences.
      I took the liberty to summarize your thought regarding the fact that, as you wrote, “very few Africans [were] on the list”. This was the main idea displayed in the title “where are the Africans” and in your argumentation.


      • Dear Julie,
        Well, no reason for debating details :-) The big lines count.
        Questions was raised to me also – like what Africans on Twitter to suggest then…? A good question I think.
        Best Greetings Pernille

        • jke

          So what does this tell us about the role of Africans in FP (according to the list)?

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