Ghanaian social media users were in a state of ecstasy earlier this month when the U.S. social networking service, Twitter, announced it was setting up its first African office in Ghana.
President Nana Akufo-Addo described the move as “excellent news.”
A statement by Twitter said Ghana’s democratic credentials and support for free speech and online freedoms made it the company’s choice.
Twitter joins Google and other IT firms with offices in Ghana.
But why are top IT firms like Twitter choosing the West African country instead of other African nations?
Ghana’s minister of communications and digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says apart from good governance, the country has set high standards for doing business.
“We’re the envy and the toast of many countries around the world. We hold ourselves to high standards," she said. "The pull factor with Twitter here [is] if their business thrives, other global tec.h giants will also say Ghana is not such a bad place to locate your business on the continent after all.”
According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 Report, there were 14.7 million internet users in Ghana in January 2020 while internet use in the country stood at 48 percent. Ghana also has six million social media users.
For his part, the head of the international non-profit Hacklab Foundation, Foster Akugri, says Ghana’s attraction for tech giants is not simply about the numbers. He said the firms have taken note that the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area is located in Accra.
“The gateway to Africa is Ghana. So, for Twitter to have chosen Ghana, I believe it’s very strategic. As a multinational I believe you want to be closer to where the decisions are made,” he said.
Meanwhile, Twitter is looking to fill jobs in Ghana, including positions in engineering and marketing.
All this has spurred Ghanaians to look forward to scoring another first on the continent in hopes of bringing more opportunities and development to the country.