Senegal: Twitter, the anti-Wade platform?

The social network Twitter is mostly a medium for urban youth. I am wondering if Wade, the president of Senegal, is aware of all the severe criticisms expressed against him on Twitter? Does he actually have any friends on the network? Where are the pro-Wade bloggers in Dakar? #kebetu

I “tweet” my question and get immediate reponses. @thiareo: “There are none, the people are fed up with Wade.” @NattySeydi: “pro-Wade bloggers there is none on twitter, #justsaying Pro-Wade but they are rather silent @tafiscoo @claire29”.

One person, @Tafiscoo, reacts. “Yes it’s true I am pro-Wade. I’m here for any discussion, but I am rarely on-line.” And indeed, @Tafiscoo seems to have been offline ever since…

Tweetless politicians

Fortunately, @NattySeydi is ready to meet me in downtown Dakar. He is a 25-year-old web developer, blogger and internet enthusiast. “Since 2009 I am mainly active on Twitter. I had a lot to say and had no other way to express myself.”

There are not many Senegalese politicians on Twitter. According to @NattySeydi, “there is an account for President Abdoulaye Wade at @LeWadaillon but I don’t think it’s him. You are able to find Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, Macky Sall, Ousmane Tanor Dieng, Moustapha Niasse and the Minister of Communication Moustapha Guirassy. But they don’t really post often. And you cannot be sure if it’s actually them or their communications officers. With Barack Obama, you can be sure it’s him.”


According to @NattySeydi, it’s unfortunate that there’s an anti-Wade majority on Twitter. “I saw two pro-Wades on Twitter today. I tried to start a discussion with them to find out why they are pro-Wade. But there was no real interaction. If pro-Wade people do not defend the ideas of Wade, than that’s a shame because then the information is only one way. There can be no balance.”

“People tend to say that people on Twitter are anti-Wade. The president should be able to defend his candidacy, and answer all our questions! But we are not seeing him…”

Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Afrika en getagged met , , , , , , , , op door .

Over Sophie van Leeuwen

Sophie van Leeuwen (1977) werkte tijdens haar Masters Frans, Culturele Studies en Journalistiek aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam bij Amsterdam FM. In 2003 liep ze stage bij NRC. Daarna werd ze één van de jonge honden van BNR (2004-2007). Toen naar Deutsche Welle (2006), voor BNR naar Frankrijk (Présidentielles 2007), correspondent in Brussel voor BNR en RTL (2008 en 2009). Daarna verslaggever @RNW, correspondent voor France 24 in Nederland en radiomaker bij de Vpro. In 2014 maakte Sophie haar eerste documentaire over de Franse frontsoldaat Alphonse Froidure, haar overgrootvader die stierf in de loopgraven van 1915 (OVT, Vpro).

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