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Hopscotch System Africa has launched a platform of expertise and exchange dedicated to Africa in order to understand, measure and adopt the best practices in digital communication.
More than ever, African cities need to display their energy and their attractiveness on the international scale. Being the reflection of their countries in the world, they should spread a positive image. Their digital communication must value their assets in a context of a sustained growth and the internet boom in Africa.
A cross methodology based on quantitative and qualitative criteria for African cities' digital popularity analysis. It's a dated photography. of their digital prints and their ranking according to their web presence and social media activity and the existence of controlled links.
The city's capacity to recruit followers (Fans, followers, pages, groups). It measures users' commitment to their place of living.
Display of links mentioning the city, whether the links are controlled by official authorities or not.
Only the specific analyses of referenced links on Google are managed by official sources.

The 5 most popular cities are located in economically developed countries, in the north and the south of the continent.
There is a wide gap in terms of digital popularity management:
among the 62 cities studied, only 15 have more than two links controlled on Google.

Overall, African cities' visibility remains below international cities' visibility: although Cape Town is the 1 st African city in terms of visibility - generating 204 million indexed links -, New York, London, or Paris generate about 3 billion.

It is the most popular city in Africa. Its influence index is very important with a particularly high engagement rate on social networks. The town stands out thanks to its excellent management of Google's links (a very well referenced official Facebook page & city's official website).
On the second place ranking, its history, culture and tourism are reflected by an exceptional visibility. However, with the exception of an active official Facebook, the city of Alexandria controls very few links and we do not find any official page referenced in the first Google pages.
The city is not visible in terms of indexed links while it is part of the cities that generate the most interest on the web. Marrakech is mainly brought out through festivals, culture and tourism (although some festivals such as the "Marrakech du Rire" are referenced in page 7). The marrakchi universities are also poorly referenced.
Although it is the economic capital of South Africa, it has very few economic indexed links and no mention of the stock exchange or investment.The national authority could not be found on the first Google pages. The algorithm used by Google gives particular attention to automatic websites (time / date / weather) and the query shows newspaper articles with negative connotation.
it stands out thanks to its official Facebook page on which the city is very reactive. Thus, it is at the top of the controlled index ranking and benefits from an increased popularity. However, the Namibian capital generates little interest among users.
Referencing is often distorted by Google algorithms and links of formal foreign representation present in the city (embassies, UN offices...).
Thus, Cairo is at the top of the ranking in terms of visibility and community, but since the administration controls few links, the Egyptian capital is only at the 11th place in terms of popularity. The low number of controlled links highlights the need to build a Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) strategy to better manage its digital popularity.
Some cities, like Cape Town and Casablanca, are developing some growth poles, but the visibility represents less than 20 % of mastered links.
The cities' economic attractiveness is not at all supported by digital communication - which is harmful in terms of general interest and of potential economic growth.
The touristic and cultural potential of cities must be coupled with a strengthened digital presence in a logic of economic development - tourism being one of the major economic development factors on the continent.
Only 20 cities in the survey have a Facebook page created by an official authority. More than half of the cities publish less than one message per day, and 6 do not offer any animation. The social network's audit reveals a sub-operating engagement lever between cities and their audiences. African cities have not taken full possession of social media; they must control them in order to develop a relationship with their communities and generate their involvement.
Read here the previous digital barometers of Africa Digital Lab