Twitter to set up its first African presence in Ghana
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, via a tweet today, announced that the company would be setting up a presence in Africa. “Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo,” he said.
???????? Twitter is now present on the continent.
Thank you Ghana and @NAkufoAddo. #TwitterGhana https://t.co/tt7KR3kvDg
— jack (@jack) April 12, 2021
In a statement, Twitter says it 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.”
Twitter indicated several roles from product and engineering to design, marketing, and communications for job openings in the company. However, individuals will fill these roles remotely as Twitter makes plans to establish an office in the country later.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, enthused about the news said “the choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. Government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country.”
He also revealed that he held a virtual meeting with Dorsey on the 7th of April, where the two parties might have finalized the deal.
“As I indicated to Jack in our virtual meeting on 7th April 2021, this is the start of a beautiful partnership between Twitter and Ghana, which is critical for the development of Ghana’s hugely important tech sector. These are exciting times to be in and to do business in Ghana,” he added.
According to Twitter, the decision to kick off its African expansion with Ghana stems from the country’s dealings with AfCFTA and its openness towards 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 statement read.
The news comes almost eighteen months after Dorsey’s visit with his Twitter team to Africa for the first time in November 2019. 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, although in September, the company subsequently made some mental health and cultural partnerships with local communities across the countries — Afrochella and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana, Amref Health Africa in Kenya, and Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria.
In October 2020, the Twitter CEO showed solidarity in the protests against police brutality that rocked Nigeria and supported bitcoin usage throughout the demonstrations. For months, it seemed Dorsey was solely concerned about bitcoin activities on the continent. However, today’s news puts things into perspective and shows connecting Twitter and the continent was at the back of his mind after all.