The battle between Nigeria and Ghana over jollof rice has taken a new form
In recent years, an important battle has been raging over the internet. Largely in jest, Nigerians and Ghanians have been arguing about who makes the best jollof rice.
Like most arguments on the internet, this debate was never fully settled. Nonetheless, over the last week, an arguably more important standard for contest was set- and the winner was declared before the broad public knew it had even begun.
While Nigeria remains the most populous country in Africa (206 million), it would seem that Ghana is seriously vying for the title of Giant of Africa. South Africa and Kenya also received a wake-up call, with Twitter’s surprise announcement to establish its first-ever African Headquarters in Ghana.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made the initial announcement via a tweet and a statement by the company followed.“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. We are looking for specialists to join several teams including product, design, engineering, marketing and communications.”
Twitter said in a statement: “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.”
Twitter added: “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.
“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.”
Rivalry in Africa
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said “the choice of Ghana as headquarters for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. It is a beautiful partnership between Ghana and Twitter which is critical for the development of Ghana’s hugely important tech sector. These are exciting times to be in, and to do business in Ghana.”
According to NOI polls, 39.6 million Nigerians have a Twitter account, which is more than the entire 32 million population of Ghana. Nigeria also has 187.9 million mobile connections and it increased by 17 million between January 2020 and January 2021. South Africa with 38.13 million mobile internet users also has a robust internet penetration of over 62 percent.
Apparently, Twitter was not impressed by these glowing stats. Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and other economic powerhouses in Africa are still scratching their heads at Twitter’s surprise move.