Many Nigerians believe that Twitter’s decision is a snub to the continent’s largest economy, which is seeing rapid growth and investment in its tech scene.
Now it seems that his business will make that move first.
The social media giant also cited Ghana’s hosting of the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as another reason for moving there, saying it aligns with “its ambition to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.”
No ease of doing business
Some Nigerians blamed an “inconducive business environment” for Twitter choosing Ghana over Nigeria.
Another commenter, Onye Ajuju, said Twitter’s decision was justified and that Nigerians had a “bloated sense of entitlement.”
“It’s unbelievable seeing Nigerians throwing a tantrum because Twitter went to Ghana. The lack of awareness of how bad things are in the country, the bloated sense of entitlement, the unhinged expectations that everyone should accept Nigeria’s dysfunction…it’s incredible!” she said.
In 2018, Facebook opened its first community hub space in Africa in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos, while announcing plans last year to open an operational office also in Lagos, but for tech investors such as Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, there are lessons to be learned if Nigeria will continue to attract much-needed foreign investment.
“We have to think carefully about the reasons why Twitter chose Ghana — not necessarily in the context of whether we want to bring Twitter to Nigeria or not, but in the context of what it will take for us to remain a competitive destination for investors,” Aboyeji told CNN on Tuesday.
“We need to start thinking very carefully about enhancing democracy and the rule of law, freedom of speech, and most importantly, our role in enabling the Africa Free Trade Agreement. It’s not enough for us to just be a big market… We have next door to us, a very competitive neighbor, who’s doing all the right things to make itself the hub of West Africa,” he added.
‘A more productive market’
Another Nigerian tech entrepreneur and investor Bosun Tijani, told CNN that Twitter simply chose a more productive market to run its Africa operations.
“While Nigeria has a huge market that Twitter would love to target, the business environment here is quite demanding… It’s strenuous…the cost of running a business here is high. But with the AfCFTA single market agreement which Africa is signed up to, a company like Twitter can choose to set up shop in a small market like Ghana — that gives the best opportunity for it to operate — and still serve the Nigerian market,” said Tijani, who heads a tech innovation lab, CcHUB.
Ghana also ranked as the 43rd most peaceful country in the world, in the 2020 Global Peace Index, placing 104 spots ahead of Nigeria — which grapples with Boko Haram insurgency and periodic outbreaks of violence.