Facebook opens first African office in South Africa

Internet

Facebook has opened an office in South Africa, its first in Africa, to further the company’s commitment to assist businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally

Facebook is already widely used in Africa. Its active user population in Africa has grown 20 per cent to 120mn in June 2015 from 100mn in September 2014. More than 80 per cent of users access Facebook from their mobile phones.

“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,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president for EMEA at Facebook. “Mobile is not a trend; its 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,” she added.

Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook’s business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new head of Africa, who will start in September.

Speaking about the short-term goals for the new office, Aru Kesisoglu, regional director, MEA at Facebook, said, “Our priority for the next few months is to continue the work we are already doing with some clients in this region. We will work more closely with businesses and agencies to understand the challenges, so that we can build solutions that help grow their business. People increasingly want to be connected to the world around them and desire information about new services and products to better their lives. At the same time, businesses need stronger, more flexible and less fragmented ways of reaching people.”

The technology company will initially focus on growing its business in the major economies of sub-Saharan Africa. It will use Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as the anchor countries for eastern, western and southern Africa respectively. Support will be extended to Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia. It will partner with governments, telecom operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised solutions to advertisers and users across the continent.
Source: African Review 1 July 2015