Twitter’s decision to set up its Africa headquarter in Ghana has caused an uproar among Nigerians on Twitter, reigniting the neverending rivalry that exists between the two West African countries, popularly known as the “jollof wars”.
While Ghanaians celebrated the move by Twitter to start building a team based in their country ahead of setting up an office there, Nigerians fumed over the supposed snub by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who visited both countries in 2019 on a fact-finding mission.
During Dorsey’s trip to Africa, he visited tech incubators, universities, and tech companies, meeting African entrepreneurs and fellow bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. He later said the move to set up an Africa office was delayed in part by the coronavirus outbreak.
One of the Nigerian jolof warriors, Godwin Eguono Oyibode, said Twitter’s decision was “unfortunate and a disservice” to Nigerian users.
“@Twitter can’t have it both ways, if their focus is on Nigeria, “they have to put their money where their mouth is,” he tweeted.
“Putting Africa office in Ghana, is unfortunate and a disservice to the huge number of Nigeria Twitter users. It’s so unfair, to make so much from Nigeria!”
Nigeria has one of the fastest growing tech scenes in Africa and has seen several huge investments in tech startups in recent years. It has 39.6 million-plus Twitter users, according to NOIPolls, and a population of 160 million – the largest on the continent.
In contrast, Ghana has a population of 32 million and far fewer users on social media platforms.
Twitter said in a statement posted on its blog that it settled on Ghana because the country’s administration supports free speech, online freedom and open internet — ideals the social media platform subscribes to.
Some Nigerians blamed their government for not providing a conducive business environment.
“Under @MBuhari our ease of doing business is so bad that it’s easier for terrorists to get phone lines than law-abiding residents,” said Reno Omokri, a former presidential aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, in a tweet.
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