Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is betting big on Africa as it opens its first office in the continent. Opening its first office in Africa makes business sense for the company given that its active users in the continent have grown by 20% to 120 million between September 2014 and now. More than 80% of these people access the site through mobile phones.
Facebook’s office in Africa will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila. Facebook hopes that her experience will help with growth.
“We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect. This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside the US and Canada. But we’re just getting started,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, VP, EMEA, Facebook.
“Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest development in communications we’ve ever seen. 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,” Mendelsohn adds.
Facebook went ahead to say that Africa is a very important market and the office will help the company expand its presence and across the region. The company went ahead to acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work in the continent when it comes to building products and solutions. This is why opening the first office in the region to cater for the needs of Africans is really important.
Initially, Facebook will focus on growing its business in anchor countries in the major regions of Sub Saharan Africa. These are Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Other supported territories include Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Facebook plans to partner with governments, telecom operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised solutions to advertisers and users continent-wide. The company also promised to continue delivering tailored solutions, metrics and ad formats that focus on the needs of customers and advertisers in the mobile-first, mobile-only African environment.