ANALYSIS: Why Twitter ignored Nigeria; chose Ghana as Africa’s headquarter

The most popular social media platform, Twitter announced that it has chosen Ghana as its headquarters in Africa. 

The firm in a post on its website noted that having an headquarters in the  continent will “increase the number of people who feel comfortable participating in it. To do this, we need to make it easier for everyone to join in and provide more relevant experiences for people across the world.”

“Today, in line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana. To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.” 

Following the announcement, many Nigerians on social media have reacted wondering why the economic capital, and giant of Africa, Nigeria was neglected. 

But Twitter in an explanation given on its choice of headquarter, described Ghana 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. 

“Whenever we enter new markets, we work hard to ensure that we are not just investing in the talent that we hire, but also investing in local communities and the social fabric that supports them. We have already laid foundations through partnerships with Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Afrochella in Ghana, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria, and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana. As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation, and corporate giving.”

“We still have much to learn but we are excited to listen, learn, and engage. Public conversation is essential to solving problems, building shared ideas, and pushing us all forward together. We can’t wait for the next step on that journey,” the platform said. 

Ghana govt speaks on its role for free speech 

In reaction to this, Nana Akufo-Addo in a statement on Twitter explained delight in the news. 

“The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is EXCELLENT news. Gov’t and Ghanaians very much welcome this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country. 

“As I indicated to @Jack in our virtual meeting of 7th April 2021, this is the start of a beautiful partnership between Twitter and Ghana, which is critical for the dev’t of Ghana’s hugely important tech sector.

“These are exciting times to be in, and to do business in Ghana,” the president said.

Why Nigeria was ignored

The press under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been through well as many journalists have victimised. 

This newspaper recalled the case of Samuel Ogundipe, an ex-Premium Times reporter who was arrested and illegally detained in 2018 for his refusal to disclose his sources for a critical report against the government.  

Jones Abiri also spent years in prison. 

More so, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, was illegally arrested and detained by the Buhari’s government.

Despite saying publicly that “rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest”; the military raided two Daily Trust offices under the watch of Buhari. 

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