Social media has taken the world by storm and Ghana is no exception.
Facebook is everywhere. When walking into an internet café in Ghana, it is hard to miss the blue and white pages of the poplar networking site on the screen of almost every single computer.
“Social networking is the single most important activity among Ghanaian internet users,” says Mac-Jordan Degadjor, a Ghanaian social blogger.
Degadjor uses social media on different platforms including business, connecting with peers and addressing misconceptions and sharing information about Ghana to others.
Almost 93 per cent of Ghanaians that have access to the internet are registered on Facebook. This access to the internet is growing as more and more people are getting internet on their phones.
“I use Facebook to communicate with friends and clients as well as get links to vital information,” said Razak Cofie, a marketing manager and DJ for GoodNewsFM in an interview over Facebook. “To me, this vital information is anything that will interest our listeners or my friends, and that will enrich me as well. It ranges from social issues to anything that might concern the average person.”
Businesses and politicians are finding Facebook as a way to connect with the youth market. In the 2008 Ghana election, CPP candidate Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom implemented a social media strategy as a way to target youth voters. Clubs and organizations, like jhr’s chapter at AUCC, are using Facebook to connect to a larger audience, organize meetings and trips, and raise awareness about the media in Ghana.
Twitter is also trending as Ghanaians take part in #Tech4Africa and #AfricaDay. Last year, Accra was one of few African cities to take part in Twestival, a global grassroots social media fundraising for local educational institutions through Concern Worldwide.
How Ghanaian’s use the internet has been an interest of mine since I read Robin Pierro’s piece “Ghana going online: Internet as a human right?” on this site, which explains how some argue the internet should be a right for all Ghanaians.
Pierro is not the only one writing about this issue. BBC World Service released results of a poll that says approximately four in five people around the world think the internet should be considered a fundamental right, accessible to all.
“Access to internet and being online has profound effects on their Ghanaian youth,” says Degadjor. “The internet is perceived as a valuable resource with knowledge, entertainment, the opportunity to make friends, expand one’s network and open up new career opportunities.”
All things that are vital to Ghana.