Title

Tweeter-in-chief: Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s use of twitter

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Abstract

Rwanda has received international praise for its rapid development and is said to be undergoing a ‘technology revolution’ at the hands of President Paul Kagame who has been described as a ‘Digital President’. This quantitative content analysis of Kagame’s official Twitter account analysed the first ten years of his tweets and found that he primarily tweets in English, with a positive sentiment about cross-government and cross-border interactions and, in doing so, presents Rwanda as a progressive, democratic player that is connected multilaterally to both African and global affairs. Throughout the decade, Kagame’s tweets evolved from being domestically focused on self-promotion to more globally focused on foreign engagement. While these findings could be indicative of a semi-authoritarian state, they also point to the presence of ‘Twitter diplomacy’ and the use of soft power tactics, which become stronger and clearer in the latter part of the decade.

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