Twitter has announced its first ever physical head office in Africa–Ghana specifically. The announcement was made by no less a person than Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey via his official handle. The choice of Ghana took a lot of people by surprise; Nigerians for instance were shocked to hear that a sister West African country was picked ahead of it.
However, going by Twitter’s reason for choosing Ghana, one may not be too surprised. The African country has been enjoying a steady rise in technology and the fact that it is one of few countries in the continent that encourages free speech makes it an easy choice. According to Twitter, the choice of Ghana was based on the country’s AfCFTA and its openness toward the internet.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Consequently, Twitter has announced a few job openings to fill positions that would soon become available. Though prospective employees are expected to work from home, this would change once a physical office is opened before the end of the year. Among positions being advertised include product, design, engineering, marketing and communications.
In a data published by Statista in February 2021, the Twitter user base in Ghana was approximately 1.1 million users compared to Nigeria’s 3.4 million. Nigeria is also ranked as the country with the biggest internet penetration in Africa. Twitter meanwhile, may not have factored all the aforementioned into consideration before picking Ghana; and may be right to an extent.
A few factors may have accounted for why Ghana was preferred to Nigeria and maybe others as well. In Nigeria for instance, a bill to suppress free speech and Stiffler the use of social media is currently generating tension in the West African country. The government of Nigeria wants to “regulate” the social media; which of course is against one of Twitter’s policies and vision.
Terrorism, poor economic policies among several other harsh decisions are hindering the country from attracting the right investments. While Nigeria may boast of having the numbers, the same cannot be said about its environment, which may not be friendly to business at the moment.
Regardless of where Twitter’s African head office is situated right now, it is still a win-win situation for the continent.