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Twitter headquarters in Ghana great for local tech community, says Ursula

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communication and Digitalisation says the setting up of Twitter’s Africa headquarters in Ghana is an opportunity for the country to scale up and build capacity, “train our young people to utilise digital tools” to address challenges in the country.

Twitter announced on Monday (12 April) that it is establishing its presence in Africa by opening an office in Ghana

According to Twitter, it chose Ghana because “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”.

It added: “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.”

Speaking with CNBC Africa, Owusu-Ekuful said, “I’m understandably excited about this move by Twitter to set up its African Regional hub in Ghana and we believe that it’s because of our shared desire to support free speech, online freedom and the open internet which Twitter also advocates.

 “We also host the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and we’ve been saying that Ghana is the gateway to West Africa and by hosting the AfCFTA Secretariat it’s as if Ghana is the trade capital for the continent and so it made sense to set up large initiatives like Twitter’s hub in Ghana as well…”

 She added, “It would energise the tech ecosystem on the continent, provide jobs for our ICT and technology professional…The potential to scale up and build our capacity and develop other local products to feed into other industries is what excites me most…I am excited about the expansion of the digital Eco space that this will bring about and the way it will also help our rural, countryside population as well.”

 Why Ghana?

“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.

“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.

“As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation and corporate giving.

“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.”

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