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Uhuru among African leaders with most followers on Instagram

African presidents are struggling to attract followers on Instagram, a report authored by global communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) has revealed.

The study analysed the activity of the 426 Instagram accounts of heads of state and government and foreign ministers using aggregate data from Facebook’s CrowdTangle tool.

The data collected on October 1, 2018 shows that Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has about 95,000 followers on Instagram, making him the fourth most followed leader in Sub Saharan Africa.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, with 444,000 followers, is the most popular African leader on the platform in the Sub Saharan Africa.


Rwanda’s President and African Union (AU) Chairperson Paul Kagame is the second most popular leader in that list with 209,000 followers while Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has 192,000 followers.

Instagram is more popular with the youth compared to Twitter and Facebook which is preferred by professionals.

This perhaps explain the low number of people following African leaders on the platform preferred by millenials.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India leads the pack of global leaders popular on Instagram with 15.85 million followers.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is the second most popular leader on the platform with 14 million followers having grown his fan base by 50% in the past year.

US President Donald Trump is the third most popular leader with 10.9 million followers.


Pope Francis occupies fourth place in the rankings with 5.7 million followers, edging out Queen Rania of Jordan who has 4.9 million followers.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the White House account have 4.6 million and 4.3 million followers respectively.

The UK Royal Family has almost tripled its followers in the past one year in large part thanks to the pictures of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle which increased the account’s followers by 570,000 on May 19, 2018.

BCW’s study this year analysed the activity of the 426 Instagram accounts of heads of state and government and foreign ministers, 100 more than in the 2017 study.

As of October 1, 2018,the accounts had a combined total of 98.3 million followers and published 98,372 posts during the year which garnered a total of 860.4 million interactions (comments and shares).