Nigeria’s lead in online mentions of first Social Media Week 2016 is big deal for Africa

My typical Sunday is a newspaper reading day. I love going through as many as three different weeklies to catch up on current affairs. This Sunday was no different, and two articles in The Sunday Times caught my eye:



This article is about a display at the Wits Art Museum this past week, which included Kevin Carter‘s harrowing Sudan image.

[blockquote width=’100’]

Africa is being viewed as one country by the outside world. Equally depressingly, what happens in one part of “this vast country”  is a proxy for what happens everywhere.




This article talks about Nigeria’s retail market that shows huge potential but has proven tough for established South African brands that include Truworths.

[blockquote width=’100′]

With such a big informal market, Nigeria is unlikely to lead cities from the developed world in technology-driven initiatives, right?


The two articles above, which can be accessed by clicking on their respective titles, were published on the back of the first  Social Media Week 2016 (SMW16) conference that was held in Lagos (Nigeria), New York, Hamburg and Jakarta.


My view on Nigerian and African  stories

I have always held a view that African stories are better told by Africans themselves. I also believe that the advent of and wide access to the Internet – if harnessed – will ensure that ordinary Africans tell their own stories.

[blockquote width=’100′]

“The more we make our own movies, for our market – across Africa, that is – the less we will need to cast Hollywood superstars to portray our global icons such as Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko” – Victor Kgomoeswana


What I witnessed this past week while analysing curated SMW16 mentions was a great example of African citizen journalism at work.



Cities that participated in #SMW16: Twitter Followers vs Share of Voice

The eNitiaters curated more than 95,000 online mentions for the four cities participating in the recent SMW16. This is how the four cities stack up in terms of both Twitter followers and share of voice (SOV):



Share of Twitter Followers (as at 28/02/16)

[pie_chart3 ]37,#f5989c,SMWNYC (37%);33,#e91b23,SMWLagos (33%);19,#FFA07A,SMWJakarta (19%);11,#8B0000,SMWHamburg (11%) [/pie_chart3]


Share of Voice (as at 27/02/16)

[pie_chart3 ]30,#f5989c,SMWNYC (30%);45,#e91b23,SMWLagos (45%);8,#FFA07A,SMWJakarta (8%);17,#8B0000,SMWHamburg (17%) [/pie_chart3]


As can be seen from the 2 piecharts above, @SMWLagos has second largest number of Twitter followers of the four participating cities, but had the strongest #SMW16 SOV by a decent margin.


SMWLagos online mentions by geography

A further analysis was conducted to check geographic contributions to @SMWLagos mentions.


Nigeria –  signified on the world map above by the darkest shade of green on this most populous African country that also has the highest GDP on the continent – was indeed the main contributor. Simply put, Nigerian netizens were the ones driving online mentions about @SMWLagos.

[blockquote width=’100′]

“If you look at confidence, Nigeria is still highly confident. In fact, consumer confidence is higher than in any other market in Africa” – Harsh Sarda, MD of Nielsen Africa Retail



Nigeria’s Internet penetration

Let me add perspective to the success of @SMWLagos for Nigeria and Africa.

Here are Internet penetration stats for the countries of the 4 #SMW16 cities:


Nigeria (Lagos)

[progress_bar_icon noactive=’grey’ active=’red’ icons_number=’10’ active_number=’5′ icon=’man’]


[progress_bar_icon noactive=’grey’ active=’red’ icons_number=’10’ active_number=’9′ icon=’man’]

Germany (Hamburg)

[progress_bar_icon noactive=’grey’ active=’red’ icons_number=’10’ active_number=’9′ icon=’man’]

Indonesia (Jakarta)

[progress_bar_icon noactive=’grey’ active=’red’ icons_number=’10’ active_number=’3′ icon=’man’]


Given the levels of penetration above, achievement by @SMWLagos (and Nigeria) is even more remarkable.



For Nigeria to beat the US and Germany – as measured by SOV – is a big deal for Africa. This should be seen as one of the ways to change the narrative from the continent of destitution to that of techno-savvy netizens and opportunities.

[blockquote width=”]

Related post: The #Internet is the best thing for Africa since bread


This post is part of the 1POINT1Billion series, and is written in support of the #Agenda2063 initiative.


Related Posts:

Related Post:

the love.

share with the world

the love.

share with the world