Kenyans like to tweet.
The report “How Africa Tweets” says Nairobi is “the most active East African city on Twitter.
And this past week, Kenyans have outdone themselves. They’re using the hashtag #KenyansMessageToObama to share their concerns with the president, who’ll be visiting the country this weekend.
Most of the top tweets are related to the topic of gay rights. Some want the president to talk about the issue. Others disagree.
That’s where “the country’s online citizens mobilize themselves around an idea or ideal,” says Mark Kaigwa, Kenyan digital strategist and publisher of The A to Z of Kenyan Twitter.
“The local and regional media houses can only interview so many people and this serves as the global town square, only this time it sees local Kenyans exchange points of view and collectively settle on those that resonate the most.”
The tweets are “some of the biggest critics of the state of the country,” he adds.
But they also have a good sense of humor. When CNN called the Kenyan region “a hotbed of terror” in advance of the president’s visit, tweeters offered a different perspective.
Many of those tweets call out recent incidents in which the Ethiopian government has attempted to silence journalists, religious leaders, and others who have been critical of the current administration.
The big question: Is President Obama paying attention to all these tweets?
No comment from the White House.