Leaders of many countries in MEA are active on social media platforms
Governments across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are taking a more proactive approach to building their online social media presence and adopting the necessary competencies to engage more eagerly with their citizens, according to IDC’s study.
For instance, leaders of many countries, including Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen, are active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Many of UAE’s federal and local government units have deployed online social networking applications, like the Statistics Center Abu Dhabi Census Challenge 2011, which have proven to be highly beneficial to citizens.
IDC Government Insights senior research analyst for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey Mukesh Chulani said from improving the access to information and services to engaging in dialogue with citizens, online social media holds great promise in its ability to increase the transparency of government institutions’ interaction with the public. "To a large extent, this move is reflective of MEA citizens’ own appreciation of the medium," Chulani stated.
However, governments throughout the region do realize that simply ignoring online social media is no longer a valid option. Particularly in societies with high penetration of online social media, government entities cannot insist on communicating with citizens exclusively via the traditional channels," Chulani adds.
There is a wide spectrum of opportunities by which online social media can be utilized by governments, including initiatives for better informing, consulting, involving, and collaborating with citizens, and MEA governments are now looking at approaches to adopt online social media into their institutions.