Twitter Inc will open its first African office in Ghana, it said on Monday, as the social media company seeks to make inroads in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
Africa is under-tapped terrain for technology firms, with internet use per population at around 39% against a world average of 59% according to web analytics firm StatCounter, but that number grows every year thanks to expanding mobile broadband networks and affordable phones.
“We must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent,” Twitter said in a statement.
Twitter trails its largest rival, Facebook Inc, which opened its first African office in Johannesburg in 2015 and plans to open a second in Lagos this year. The firm struck a deal with African telecom majors in 2020 to build one of the world’s largest subsea cable networks.
Nearly 59% of African internet users had Facebook accounts as of March 2021, StatCounter figures show, compared with 11.75% who have Twitter.
Twitter’s move was welcomed in Ghana, which has emerged as a hub for African startups alongside the continent’s technology frontrunners, South Africa and Nigeria.
“This is the start of a beautiful partnership between Twitter and Ghana,” Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted on Monday, saying its presence was crucial for the development of Ghana’s tech sector.