18 months after the Twitter team’s visit to Africa for the first time in November 2019, Jack Dorsey (Founder of Twitter) has announced that the social media company will open its first office in the continent in Ghana.
During his tour on the continent, he visited Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa, where he met with different industry leaders and tech stakeholders on matters concerning Twitter and Bitcoin.
Dorsey stated that he would return to the continent to live for six months in mid-2020, but the pandemic made sure that plan was soiled. Since then, not much was communicated by Dorsey or the Twitter team about the visit. But on Monday 12th of April, it was announced in a statement that twitter is now actively building a team in Ghana “to be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the continent.”
It must have come as a surprise that Ghana with a population of 31 million people and 8 million social media users was picked over Nigeria with 200 million people and 30 million social media users!
First of all from a personal perspective, I think Nigerian startups’ constant regulatory battle with authorities must have influenced this decision. No thanks also to the constant power blackout, ban on cryptocurrency (a market twitter is really interested in)
Kenya was not a good alternative also due to the new proposed ICT bill and digital taxes imposed on companies there.
In a statement released yesterday, Twitter revealed it chose Ghana because “as a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate. Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.”
Though there might be a lot of obstacles and challenges opposing the ease of doing business in other proposed options, there is no denying the fact there is an abundance of tech talents in those countries. That is why twitter is opening up remote roles tailored for Nigerians, 8 of the 12 advertised openings were targeted at the Nigerian market specifically
If anything, this just explains that the country might not be considered an attractive ground for tech companies, but the belief in the potential of Nigerian tech talents is still enormous.