Twitter plans to hire first product, engineering team in Africa

BY BLOOMBERG.COM - Apr 13, 2021 at 7:55am 100

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Twitter Inc. is planning to hire its first product and engineering team in Africa, an effort to expand its workforce in emerging markets where the social-media company hopes to attract new users.

Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s head of product, announced the plans in a blog post, calling the effort an “exciting” part of the company’s growth strategy.
“To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent,” he wrote.

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo praised Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey for the expansion in his country.

Dorsey has said he wants to better understand Africa’s internet users, many of whom are moving online for the first time. He announced plans to live in Africa part-time after visiting the continent in late 2019 to meet entrepreneurs and attend a meditation retreat. He scuttled the idea after the COVID-19 outbreak forced people to stay home and limit travel.

Some investors criticized Dorsey’s plan to live in Africa as a frivolous pursuit for a busy CEO, and it was considered one reason activists took a position in Twitter last year to try and influence management.

Dorsey, who also runs payments company Square Inc., has a deep interest in cryptocurrencies. Some see Africa as a key market for digital payments.

“Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!)” Dorsey tweeted in 2019.