Kenya’s president in praise of country’s ranking in social media use

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki yesterday praised the use of social networks in Kenya adding that the platform has enabled the country to take the leading positions in Africa when it comes to freedom of expression.

This follows Kenya’s current position in the use of social networks in Africa. Kenya is ranked second in the use of Twitter after South Africa, and seventh in Facebook use with an estimated two million users. Egypt leads in Facebook use by 9.5 million users, followed by South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.

With the launch of Kenya’s new constitution back in 2010 that assured of freedom of expression and the right to access information, the country has revolutionized the way information is shared.

President Kibaki said the rapid growth of technology continues to promise transformation of societies in ways that were inconceivable years back.

Speaking at the East African Journalists convention at KICC in Nairobi, the president explained technology has enabled innovation of new ways that enable faster communication as well as sharing of information and knowledge.

President Kibaki recognized the fact that modern technology has enabled faster information conveyance, and urged users to use the platforms for positive growth and empowerment.

He was however quick to point out the rise in hate speech and offensive pictures on such social media platforms reflecting on last year’s uprisings in Egypt where protests lasted 18 days fuelled by Internet-savvy protesters who used Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to disseminate videos and photographs and calling on protests.

This is a major concern for the Kenyan Government and Kenyan citizens too, owing to the fact that the country is soon going into presidential elections, he said.

There has also been concern in the rising cases of explicit content in the radio stations and obscene scenes on television during family viewing time.

The Media Council of Kenya and other relevant agencies should provide leadership by discouraging negative and immoral content and promoting positive and intellectually uplifting programmes, President Kibaki said.

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