How Africa Tweets…

How does Africa Tweet? Not a question I bet you’ve asked yourself much, but thanks to new information released today, you can get some insight into how a continent communicates.

I’m doing some consultancy work at the moment for one of my clients, looking specifically at communication in Africa, so I have found it particularly interesting to read through.

How Africa Tweets has been published by Portland Communications and it’s a fascinating read.

They analysed geo-located tweets originating from Africa during the final three months of 2013.

How Africa TweetsAccording to their website, it’s the second such study and dives deeper into Twitter use on the continent.

It looks at which cities are the most active, what languages are being used the most and what issues are driving the conversation online.

You can follow conversations about the study online using the hashtag #AfricaTweets

How Africa Tweets found that:

Johannesburg is the most active city in Africa, with 344,215 geo-located tweets during Q4 2013, followed by Ekurhuleni (264,172) and Cairo (227,509). Durban (163,019) and Alexandria (159,534) make up the remainder of the top five most active cities.

  • Nairobi is the most active city in East Africa and the sixth most active on the continent, with 123,078 geo-located tweets in Q4 2013
  • Accra is the most active city in West Africa and the eighth most active on the continent, with 78,575 geo-located tweets in Q4 2013
  • English, French and Arabic are the most common languages on Twitter in Africa, accounting for 75.5% of the total tweets analysed.  Zulu, Swahili, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Portuguese are the next most commonly tweeted languages in Africa
  • Tuesdays and Fridays are the most active tweeting days on the continent. Twitter activity rises steadily through the afternoon and evening, with peak volumes around 10pm
  • The day of Nelson Mandela’s death – 5 December – saw the highest volume of geo-located tweets in Africa during Q4 2013
  • Brands in Africa are becoming increasingly prevalent on Twitter in Africa. Portland tracked major hashtag activity from top brands such as Samsung (#SamsungLove), Adidas (#Adidas) and Magnum ice cream (#MagnumAuction)
  • Football is the most-discussed topic on Twitter in Africa. During Q4 2013, football was discussed more than any other topic, including the death of Nelson Mandela. The most mentioned football team was Johannesburg’s Orlando Pirates (#BlackisBack, #PrayForOrlandPirates, #OperationFillOrlandoStadium)
  • Politically-related hashtags were more limited than other issues, with only four particularly active hashtags tracked during the time period. This included #KenyaAt50 – celebration of Kenya’s independence – and the competing #SickAt50

I wonder why Tuesdays and Fridays are the most active tweeting days and why 10pm is so popular?

Want to read more? Read the full results online.

ESN use in Africa
I’m constantly on the lookout for information about how companies, communities and continents communicate and think this study is an excellent snapshot. I’d love to know information about how companies are using enterprise social networks across Africa.

If anyone has any links/case studies to share, do please comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Don’t forget you can find a comprehensive list of who is using what for internal social media plus access 300+ social media policies via my blog.

I’m going to leave you with the animated map below from Portland Communications, showing geo-located tweets in a 24-hour period across the continent’s 20 largest cities.

Thank you for stopping by



How Africa Tweets















Post author: Rachel Miller.

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Founder of All Things IC communication consultancy. Chartered PR Practitioner and CIPR Fellow.

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