Facebook opens first HQ in Africa to drive growth across continent | M&M Global

Facebook opens first HQ in Africa to drive growth across continent

Facebook has set up its first office on the African continent, opening the doors to a base in Johannesburg to drive growth in markets including South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

The social network said that the new operation, which will be headed up by Ogilvy alumnus Nunu Ntshingila as head of Africa, would help it grow penetration regionally and locally and help advertisers better connect with consumers.

According to Facebook, the social network is already popular with Africans. The active user population has grown 20% in less than a year – from 100 million in September 2014 to 120 million in June 2015.

Mobile is particularly important for Facebook, and consequently for its advertisers, with over 80% of African Facebook members accessing the network via their smartphones. Around one in five people in Africa have internet access.

Facebook said it would collaborate closely with governments, telecoms operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised solutions to advertisers and users.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice-president of EMEA, said: “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.”

Facebook said that it will work more closely with businesses and agencies to develop “stronger, more flexible and less fragmented ways” for brands to reach consumers in Sub Saharan Africa.

“Mobile is not a trend; it’s the fastest development in communications we’ve ever seen,” Mendelsohn added. “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.”

Facebook will initially focus on ‘anchor countries’ based in the major regions of Sub Saharan Africa – Kenya for East Africa, Nigeria for West Africa and South Africa for Southern Africa. “Other supported territories include Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia,” the company said.

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