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This is How Africa Tweeted in 2015

A screenshot of a graph showing how Africa tweets.

A screenshot of a graph showing how Africa tweets.

Portland, a London-based communications agency, has analysed 1.6 billion geo-located tweets and the top 5,000 hashtags on the continent for the third “How Africa Tweets” report.

The report consists of 12 case studies touching on how Twitter relates to topics such as terrorism in Africa, the Ebola response, and economic development on the continent.

The company used the social media analysis tool Sysomos to collect and analyse the 5,000 top hashtags. However, it was unable to collect information on South Sudan and the Republic of Congo due to lack of data on social media.

“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,” Mark Flanagan, Portland’s Senior Partner for Content and Digital Strategy is quoted in a press statement.

Key findings:

  • Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Burundi and Egypt were the most active in political conversations on Twitter.
  • Interest in politics transcends national borders. Hashtags about the Nigerian presidential elections and strife in Burundi were among some of the most popular and widespread hashtags across Africa.
  • English is the most dominant 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% respectively.
  • Twitter in Africa is used distinctly 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 geolocated Twitter volume (amounting to 500 million tweets). Nigeria (360 million geolocated tweets), South Africa (325 million geolocated tweets), Kenya (125 million geolocated tweets) and Ghana (70 million geolocated tweets).
  • Rwanda was the only country that had its president, Paul Kagame, among the top ten hashtags on Twitter.

Some tweeps have been sharing key findings on Twitter using the hashtag #HowAfricaTweets.

The report has generally received positive response. However, Mwesigwa Daniel, a True Africa contributor, tweeted:

Responding to Reed Kramer tweet, Demba Kandeh, a Global Voices author, observed:

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