Twitter recently announced its plans to open its first African office in Ghana, causing an uproar in Nigeria, especially on social media platforms.
This is not the first time that Ghana has been favoured over her more populous “sibling” by multinational investors. Here are 2 other big companies that chose to set up shop in Ghana instead of Nigeria.
Google AI Lab
Despite having a regular office in Lagos Nigeria, Google, one of the world’s leading internet companies, chose Accra, Ghana as the location for its very first Artificial Intelligence research lab on the African continent.
Google has only 5 of these labs in the world located in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Google HQ and now, Accra.
An associate consultant with Control Risk Africa speaking to CNBC cited Ghana’s political stability and high educational standards as one of the key reasons for Google’s choice.
He also hinted that Lagos, Nigeria was more prone to civil unrest, hence the decision to set up such a prestigious lab in Accra.
Fan Milk (Accra HQ)
The dairy milk giant has footprints in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast Burkina Faso and Togo. However, it chose Accra for its operational headquarters. The dairy milk company was formerly referred to as the Ghanaian Milk Company.
The company was then acquired and owned by a joint partnership of a world food processing company Danone and Abraaj, a private equity firm. Danone went on to buy out all the shares, and become the sole owner of the enterprise.
Early last week, Nigeria’s internet space was awash with negative sentiments over the news of Twitter opening up its first African office in Ghana. The popular narrative leaned on the fact that Nigeria, being a larger contributor to the Twitter community, ought to house Twitter’s African office. The subtle rivalry between the two West African Nations did not help matters, especially when Jack Dorsey put out a message to answer the question on everyone’s lips.
Twitter’s official reason for choosing Ghana
The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, briefly explained the reason why Ghana turned out to be the company’s choice for its African office.
He said that the country was a firm supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the open internet. He further explained that Ghana’s recent appointment to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area allowed Twitter to “establish a presence in the region,” according to Business Insider.
The development was acknowledged by the Ghanaian president who welcomed the initiative with open arms.
What you should know
Ghana has been earmarked as a benchmark for political stability in Africa, due to its longstanding culture of smooth transitions of power.
The country also has an abundant supply of electricity. According to USAID, Ghana has 4000mw of installed generation capacity. It has often struggled to contain its excessive power supply.