Why Facebook Opened Office in Africa
Facebook announced today (Monday, 29 June 2015) it had opened its first African office in Johannesburg, South Africa. This move by the company is aimed at capitalizing on the massive Africa’s 200 million internet users of whom 60 percent are already on Facebook.
The office which will be headed by Nunu Ntshingila, a former executive at the advertising agency Ogilvy will focus on helping people and business connect in the continent.
Facebook said in a statement “the office will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook”.
Facebook is the world’s biggest social network, with some 1.4 billion active users worldwide including 120 million in Africa.
“We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s regional vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Speaking further, Mendelsohn said “Africa is important to Facebook, and this office is a key part of our strategy to expand our investment and presence across (the region). Facebook is already a central part of people’s lives in Africa, and with more than a billion people in Africa, we want to do more to help people and businesses connect.”
Facebook said more than 80 percent of people in African access the social network from their mobile phones.
“Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest development in communications we’ve ever seen,” Mendelsohn said.
This couldn’t be more true in Africa where so many people are mobile-only. This new office is a significant milestone for Facebook and our teams want to partner with businesses across the continent.
The South African office will work with brands across the continent to tap into the growing consumer market to create native targeted ads.
“We know that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to building products and solutions that address diverse needs on the continent, which is why we are committed to creating solutions tailored to people, businesses and specifically for African markets,” said Ari Kesisoglu, regional director, Middle East North Africa for Facebook.
Facebook will initially focus on in sub-Saharan countries including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and will also offer support for Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
“Facebook will partner with governments, telecom operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localized solutions to advertisers and users continent-wide,” the statement said.
Speaking on why Facebook opened office in Africa, Kesisoglu said “Our mission will be to connect brands and consumers in Africa, creating value for all parties in the process.”
Facebook is already working with big brands like Coca-Cola in Kenya and Virgin Mobile in South Africa, to create native ads tailored towards their audiences.