Twitter Expands in Africa
The American company aims at tailoring its global product to the needs of Africa. It will first focus on Ghana and Nigeria.
On April 12, Twitter announced expanding its presence in Africa by opening 12 new roles in Ghana.
In order to adapt to the African specificities, Twitter decided that their “teams must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across Africa, and we can only do this by engaging local teams“.
Twitter is therefore going to build a team in Ghana. Although, the company has adopted a flexible remote working policy, the firm will explore opportunities in opening an office in Akra.
For Twitter officials, the choice was justified by the fact Ghana is “a champion of democracy“.
The ambition to become the leader in digital economy in Africa
Ghana is considered as a “flawed democracy” according to the Global democracy Index for 2020. Yet, the country is still positioned among the 5 best ranked African countries in a continent dominated by authoritarian regimes.
Twitter offers 12 job opportunities so far, including product, design, engineering, or marketing and communications roles.
The company will primarily focus their efforts in the West African market, especially Ghana and Nigeria, in which they will pilot the new approach of building an in-market team.
Being chosen by the American tech company is good news for Ghana, a country that ambitions to be the leader in the digital economy in Africa by 2028.
Moreover, if 43% of Ghana’s population is an Internet user, above the African average, it is still much lower than Nigeria (73%).
Start of a controversy in Nigeria
And in Nigeria, some complained about the Nigerian government being unable to influence Twitter to chose their country as the African headquarters.
Tolu Ogunlesi, special assistant on digital to President Buhari said, on Twitter, that it was “not even that big a deal” arguing that Microsoft, Facebook or Google had already invested in Nigeria.
Nigeria is also only the 110th country in the Global Democracy Index.
Similar to Norway investing in Ghana’s digital training facilities, Twitter will also contribute to local communities such as The HackLab Foundation which focuses on advancing tech education in Africa.
In fact, a World Bank report in 2019 considered that “only a few Ghanaians have the requisite digital skills experience […] to establishing a successful and inclusive digital economy“.
Media sources and useful links:
- Establishing Twitter’s presence in Africa, Twitter, April 2021
- Global democracy has a very bad year, February 2021, The Economist, Restricted access
- Norway Invests in Ghana’s Digital Future. Why?, Newsndip, March 2021, Free access
- Ghana Digital Economy Diagnostic, The World Bank, 2019, Free access
- Tolu Ogunlesi, Twitter, Free access