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Twitter, an American microblogging and social networking service has announced it will be setting up its first African presence.

The service provides platform on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

The company has announced choosing Ghana as its Headquarters for its Africa presence.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo,” Co-founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey announced via a tweet.

IT Expert, Mohammed Akwasi Appiah who spoke to Silver FM gave some reasons why the American blog service chose Ghana for its Africa operations;

''Some of the reasons for Twitter choosing Ghana over South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia in my view was based on democracy in these countries''

''As we all know Ghana has been championing the course of democracy in Africa and West Africa''

''Looking at these things after travelling to these countries he decided to choose the West African country as the best option'' 

''Another reason will be on grounds of freedom of speech; In my view we all saw what happened Nigeria recently in relation to EndSARS protest, in other countries citizens have the right to speech and expression but they are not allowed to go free but in Ghana the youth have freedom to speech and once it is in accordance to the law nobody can infringe on your rights''

''Most importantly too the recent opening of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Ghana here, that establishment is going to bring the entire continent into one location and they thought it wise to open their business in the country''

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.

President Akufo Addo in a retweet quoted; “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,” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.

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 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 statement read.

The news comes almost 18 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.

SilverFM

 

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