Facebook is the world’s largest social media network, with over 1.8 billion active users worldwide. Facebook groups in Africa are open to 170 million users, with statistics stating that 7 out of 10 internet users in Africa log onto Facebook through mobile phones. The continent’s hotspots for Facebook usage include Egypt, which has the most Facebook users on the continent at over 29 million, Nigeria which has over 16 million users, South Africa with over 13 million users, Algeria and Morocco with over 10 million users, and Kenya with over 5 million users. Countries with 2 million to 3 million users include Ethiopia, Ghana, Angola, and Libya.
One of the most popular features on Facebook has been groups, which reached over 1 billion people in 2016. Facebook groups in Africa have created online spaces where like-minded people can meet and create communities that reach beyond the borders of physical social spaces.
“FOR THE PAST DECADE, FACEBOOK HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON MAKING THE WORLD MORE OPEN AND CONNECTED,” FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG SAID IN A STATEMENT. “WE ALSO NEED TO BRING PEOPLE CLOSER TOGETHER AND BUILD COMMON UNDERSTANDING. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO DO THAT IS BY HELPING PEOPLE BUILD COMMUNITIES, BOTH IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD AND ONLINE,” ZUCKERBERG ADDED.
The growth of Facebook groups across the world and their impact on social cohesion and community has given rise to the first ever Facebook Communities Summit, which took place in Chicago in June 2017. The aim of the summit was to bring group admins together, strengthening those relationships while providing them the Facebook’s latest insights and features designed to improve groups.
Facebook groups in Africa are just as popular and significant they are internationally, creating communities that span from women empowerment groups to blogger support, parenting support, as well as social media management groups.
Here are top 7 Facebook groups in Africa you should know about.
Female in Nigeria (FIN)
Female in Nigeria, also known by its acronym FIN, is a Nigerian all-woman group that was started by Lola Omolola. The group acts as a virtual safe space for women to share their stories and seek advice for issues they are facing without being stigmatized by a society that often disallows women to have a voice. Online applications to join the group are managed and approved by 28 volunteers every day, and up to 100 women’s applications are successful.
To encourage women to speak freely without any intimidation, some of the rules of the group include no judging and no religiously-themed advice. The success of the group, which now has over 1 million members, has been commended by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, for its stride in building inclusive and better communities on the social media platform.
Confessions of a Married Woman
The all-woman Facebook group, Confessions of a Married Woman, is one of the most popular groups in Egypt on the social media platform, with over 50,000 members.
Confessions of a Married Woman is an online support forum for mainly married women to offer support and advice about all aspects of marriage and womanhood. The online space offers married women a safe and nonjudgmental platform to discuss all facets of marriage to include sex, cheating spouses, financial difficulties, and abuse. Like FIN, new members are added to the group through invites from women who are already members, making the group a secret one on Facebook so it can’t be found via the search feature.
Mums & Nannies
Mums & Nannies is a parenting and support group targeted mainly at mothers and nannies. The group is popular in Nairobi and Kenya, and it helps connect mothers with nannies, while also being a forum for moms to discuss childcare-related topics and offer woman-to-woman advice. The group also has a Facebook page by the same name.
Kilimani Mums Nairobi
Kilimani Mums Nairobi is a popular Kenyan parenting support group, which is for mothers and fathers in and outside the Kilimani area. Group members have discussions about pregnancy, birth, parenting, and family life. The Kilimani franchise also has a separate group used as a marketplace for parents to advertise and buy goods, services, and jobs called Kilimani Mums Marketplace.
Pen & Ink Masters
Pen & Ink Masters is a writers group that was started by thought leader and writer, Emeka Nobis. The group is a platform for African writers to showcase their articles, engage with other writers, as well as post and apply for writing opportunities. The group also acts as an online support system for writers through publishing writing prompts and helping writers critique each other’s work as they seek advice.
Mamahood South Africa
The Mamahood franchise is popular in South Africa, offering parenting support and advice to mothers. The Mamahood Facebook pages cater to mothers in different provinces and cities across South Africa, creating a close-knit community of support for mothers. Group members have discussions about all things mom-related, from pregnancy and birth to family life. The group also gives space to bloggers to post their articles on specific days, as well as businesses listed with Mamahood to advertise on specific days in the group.
South African Bloggers Network
The South African Bloggers Network is an online support platform for South African bloggers to connect and share their work and websites. Bloggers from around South Africa get to know each other, share blog posts, advertise competitions, as well as provide each other with support and advice about the business and technical sides of blogging and online content creation.