The African continent is again under the tech spotlight after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has officially announced that the social media giant, Twitter, will be launching its headquarters in Ghana.
This follows Dorsey’s visit to the country in 2019 when he attended a Bitcoin meet-up.
Dorsey chose Ghana due its strong stance on democracy. “Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate.”
“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.
Africa is not new to big tech. These are the tech companies that have presence in the African continent.
Google – In 2019, Google opened its first artificial intelligence lab in Accra, Ghana. Google said the use of AI will help address economic, political and environmental issues.
Facebook – Facebook opened its first headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015. Its main focus for opening up a headquarters in South Africa was growing markets in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Alibaba Group – In November 2019, Ethiopia and the Alibaba Group inaugurated a global trade platform. Jack Ma said at the e-WTP launch that it was the “the beginning that Africa can compete with Europe and America.”
Amazon – In 2015, Amazon opened its first Amazon Web Services (AWS) office in Johannesburg. According to its website, this was to “support the growth of the cloud computing business and its rapidly expanding customer base in the country.”
Microsoft – Microsoft launched its first Africa Development Centre (ADC) in 2019 and as well as opened Africa’s first hyper-scale datacentres in South Africa.
“What I like the most when I look at tech giant CEO visits is that they seem to recognise the potential of the continent not only as a market, but as a source of innovation and talent,” Max Cuvellier, head of programmes at the GSM Association (GSMA) Mobile for Development (M4D) told Forbes Africa.
“They dedicate more and more time on these trips to meeting local entrepreneurs, discussing emerging technologies with local experts and going to universities to interact with local students.”