President Paul Kagame will for the first time on Friday, July 10, hold a live Instagram session with social networking influencers, a conversation that will focus on Rwanda’s 26-year journey after liberation that himself led.
Kagame considered one of the most active Heads of State on social media, already has a huge following on Instagram with more than 600,000 followers.
He also has some 1.9 million followers on Twitter.
The discussion comes a few days after Rwandans officially marked the 26th Liberation Day anniversary, which was held in Gikoba, Tabagwe sector in Nyagatare district where Kagame inaugurated several projects
The President will hold conversation with influencers from different industries, including radio and television personalities, comedians, and photographers, among others.
People like Arthur Nkusi, a renowned radio presenter and a comedian, who will be among the influential figures to interact with Kagame, have invited their followers to follow the conversation.
Nkusi has 357,000 followers on Instagram.
“I will be interacting with our President @PaulKagame tomorrow at 3pm,” the Kiss FM presenter posted on his Twitter account where he has some 12,700 followers.
Rwandans have already started to field their questions to the President, even beyond the liberation with many asking him about his thoughts on addressing youth unemployment post-Covid-19 pandemic, rebuilding a new nation, and teenage pregnancies, to name but a few.
The role of social media and internet influencers in the internet age cannot be ignored, as many have been seen to drive different agendas at home and beyond.
In the West, influencers are already being used to advance political agendas despite some of them not having a great deal of knowledge about politics.
Presidential hopefuls in the United States are now seeking endorsements beyond the standard political figures, Hollywood stars, and editorial boards with many spending more on social media campaigns.
Jackie Lumbasi, a Kenyan media personality currently working in Kigali, says gone are the days when mainstream media was the only way to communicate.
“This interaction is an indication of social media influencing being embraced. It also helps that some of us serve and communicate to the masses through both media,” she told this publication.
Lumbasi, who has more than 32,000 followers on Twitter, will be part of the conversation.
“We are acting as middlemen, people share their thoughts with us and wish we could task policymakers and leaders to respond to them,” she argued.
She sees the presidential session as an opportunity for influencers to ask questions for themselves and on behalf of people that listen or do follow them.