Zambia’s finance ministry takes to Facebook, front-runner


Only a few African countries’ finance ministries have a presence on social networking site, Facebook, a research report said this week, highlighting that Zambia is the front-runner.

These include South Africa, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal. Other African countries whose finance ministries have a presence on Facebook are Uganda, Senegal, Rwanda and Zambia as well as Angola.

“A large number of Facebook postings in these countries has an economic or financial content.

Zambia’s Minister of Finance emphasises the importance of female employment, advocates the need for greater diversification into agriculture, manufacturing and non-extractive industries, and quotes a World Bank report on the need for major companies to support the development of small businesses,” said a report on the website of PFMConnect.

Notable absentees include Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius among others.

For Angola, the report said the Finance Ministry’s Facebook account “explains how falling oil prices have put pressure on public spending causing fuel subsidies to be reduced to maintain vital services, and stresses the importance of the linkage between economic stability, rating agency assessments and debt funding”.

It adds that “most countries provide details of budget spending proposals” on their Facebook pages.

However, “postings were largely silent on service delivery commitments, service delivery standards, budgetary control experience, efficiency measures, cost reduction initiatives, procurement process development, anti-corruption activities” as well as audit findings.

Most of the countries whose Finance Ministries are present on Facebook received a regular flow of public comments, the report said.

It adds that the Zambian finance ministry’s website demonstrated lively interaction, while it has the most likes.

The number of active Facebook accounts in Africa have soared to 120 million by the end of June this year.

Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya account for a quarter of the total figure, although other countries having been gathering Facebook usage pace.

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