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TWITTER, a social media platform that is popular among Nigerians, has explained why it established an African station in Ghana and not Nigeria, which is the most populous African nation.
Twitter announced the African station on Monday in post by Founder Jack Dorsey.
Dorsey said Ghana was a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the open internet, which the platform was also an advocate.
The official announcement further read that Ghana’s recent appointment as host of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) aligned with Twitter’s overarching goal to establish a presence in the African region.
Twitter also said it had 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.
On reasons for setting up an African Station, Twitter said the essence was to truly serve the public conversation, and be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities driving the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.
In 2019, the Nigerian government deliberated on a bill to censor open speech, most especially on social media in the country. It was Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill. There was also the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and Other Related Offences Bill targeting Nigerians on the social media.
A civil society organisation Amnesty International had said the bill was an infringement on human rights and freedom of speech in the country.
“Social media is one of the last remaining places where Nigerians can express their opinions freely. The harassment of journalists and bloggers and the introduction of the Cyber Crimes Act have already shrunk the civic space and created a climate of fear,” said Programmes Manager of Amnesty International Nigeria Seun Bakare.
Ghana ranked 118 on World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business as against Nigeria’s 131. Africa’s most populous nation is hard hit by harsh business environment, including multiple taxation and regulatory pressure.
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