Hage Geingob Hopes to Reach More Citizens Through Twitter

THE Prime Minister of Namibia, Hage Geingob, who joined Twitter just over a week ago, hopes to reach a wider audience through the social networking website.

Tweeting his first 140 character restricted tweet, Geingob reminded Namibians of Vision 2030 and its developmental goals. “Only we as Namibians can develop our nation. Only we can drive the country towards Vision 2030 and beyond,” he tweeted.

Responding to questions from The Namibian, Geingob attributed globalisation as his main reason to join, saying: “the rapid rise of globalisation and the technological aancement that has come with it has caused a change in the dynamic of our society.

“The power and influence of social media is phenomenal and one cannot underestimate it.”

He emphasises the power of social media as a tool for communication and admits that he is still learning the ropes of what has become the largest platforms for conversation on the internet. “I am still a ‘new kid on the block’ but I am fascinated by all the tools and abilities it offers to get my message out to the people.”

Since joining Twitter on 20 June, a number of users have questioned whether the Prime Minister actually tweets himself or if an administrator does it for him. Geingob however admits that though he is busy, he tries tweet himself and to be interactive. “You don’t attempt to join the social network scene if you are not going to be active. On the other hand, you are correct, I do not always have time for Twitter or Facebook. But I managed to integrate it into my schedule.”

The Prime Minister reiterates that social media is a gateway to one’s audience. “I have direct access and insight of my audience’s opinion and feelings, moreover what makes them tick, all because social networks enables them to break down all other barriers such as bureaucratic processes which sometimes dampen and exclude their opinions… In itself, this is a form of bringing service closer to the people.” Social media, he says, is a perfect platform for citizens to reconnect with leaders and institutions. “By this I am trying to be transparent and accountable,” he says.

The Prime Minister had 457 followers by yesterday morning, with most of his followers being Namibian. He also has Facebook pages under the names ‘Dr. Hage Geingob for President’, ‘Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia’ and ‘Dr Hage Geingob’. These pages have a following of 16 638, 5939 and 12 223 respectively.

Other prominent personalities who are on Twitter are executive chairperson of the National Youth Council Mandela Kapere, businesswoman Monica Kalondo, Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi as well as Swapo Youth League Secretary General Elijah Ngurare.

Source : The Namibian