For years, Ghana and Nigeria have had an unending rivalry for things (Ghana vs Naija). From sport to food (Ghana Jollof, Naija Jollof) to celebrities, social media challenges and economic movement.
But the recent one almost broke the internet. It seems that Ghana had added a major win to its number of wins against Nigeria.
On Monday, the microblogging bird platform, Twitter announced to be launching its first Africa presence in Ghana
“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you Ghana and @NAkufoAddo. #TwitterGhana,” Jack Dorsey, CEO Twitter, tweeted.
🇬🇭 Twitter is now present on the continent.
— jack (@jack) April 12, 2021
Following the announcement, the internet went upside down; it triggered many reactions and questions from Nigerians.
Especially questions related to the choice for the launch which brought a fallback to the policy of the Nigerian government.
However, Twitter already answered the question in its release.
It said the reason for the choice is because Ghana is an advocate for freedom of speech, online freedom and open speech. And it is in line with what its platform stands for.
This led many Nigerians to condemn their government for the policies and also the clampdown by the government during the #EndSARS movement.
One significant comment that stood out for many was a comment claiming Jack couldn’t get a Nigerian SIM.
Maybe Jack couldn’t get SIM card https://t.co/eIlZYtDgbv
— Nimueh Anacksunamun🌚🌚 (@wickedstepmami) April 12, 2021
Apparently, the subject of SIM policy has created a lot of problems for investors and business owners in Nigeria.
Anti-business policies; New SIM card regulation policy
The Nigeria communication commission announced a new policy for network providers which include a suspension of registration of new SIMs in the country.
Leading the decision, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Patami), Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy said the decision was taken after several cases of fraud and malware.
Also, subscribers needed to provide their National Identification Number to update their SIM unless it would be suspended.
What does this mean?
It means those who don’t have a SIM won’t be able to access one till the suspension is over. Also, for those who are yet to have a NIN, and are yet to register their NIN on their SIM, they won’t be able to use their SIM anymore after the set deadline.
So, those coming into the country for business might not be able to do well in communication as they would need a SIM to do so.
This has served as a hindrance to investment opportunities for the international body in the country.
Clampdown on Freedom of expression, open speech
This was another point raised; the Nigerian government would try to regulate Twitter to fit their own policy. This would clampdown down on the freedom of the people.
A tweet says “Can you even imagine Twitter having a Nigerian office? AGF will serve them papers to delete accounts daily. DSS can show up to intimidate the hapless staff. Nah, imagine it?? They chose Ghana and rightfully so. Love that for them”
Referring to the #EndSARS protest, the Nigerian government were able to clamp down on the peaceful protest. These led to the tons of events that took place, like the massacre; attracting international bodies
Also, Jack Dorsey was petitioned $1billion by Adamu Garba, a former presidential aspirant for supporting the movement.
This showed that the government were not in support of open speech or freedom of speech which is against Twitter’s stance.
So, it is easy to conclude that all these might have played an important role in Twitter’s choice.
Ghana’s wins against Nigeria
Although the economy of Nigeria is middle-income; but it has the biggest economy in Africa. According to World Bank, Nigeria’s GDP is $448.1 million; while that of Ghana is $67.0 million, making it seven times less than Nigeria.
At this rate, Nigeria should have more foreign investment than Ghana. But, the reverse is the case.
Ghana has had more foreign direct investment in its country for some years now. In 2018, Ghana overtook Nigeria as the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment, according to the new United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
It reported that Ghana recorded $3.3 billion foreign direct investment while Nigeria had a 36% decline in FDI, making it plus $2.2 billion.
Also, in 2020 Nigeria attracted $2.6 billion FDI, Ghana attracted $627.52m FDI in the 1st quarter of 2020.
Many investors felt putting their money in Ghana was more secure and favourable than the Nigerian market.
Interestingly, Nigeria was one of the frontiers for foreign direct investment. Infact, it was the third host economy for FDI in Africa after Egypt and Ethiopia.
However, for many reasons, now investors are looking to invest more in Ghana than in Nigeria.
Being the continental headquarter for a major company like Twitter would definitely play a role in its profit for the year.
Not only that, Ghana would be a major contributor to discussions in Africa.
With an influential company like Twitter building in its economy, it would position Ghana as a hub for many other big companies.
Some other major wins for Ghana over Nigeria
Ghana is now the regional hub for automotive in West Africa. Companies like Toyota, Suzuki, Volkswagen, Nissan have set up stations in Ghana.
This came about as a result of the abolishment of trade barriers under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Contributing to this course, the Ghana government offered a 10 years tax break to the automotive manufacturing company.
This has made many international automotive companies consider Ghana’s offer. According to a report, Ghana accounts for less than 1% of global annual new car sales.
With this, Ghana is becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
However, this isn’t so for Nigeria.
So, car companies aren’t considering Nigeria as an option as it doesn’t even have a favourable policy for them to invest in its market.
Although, there are car companies in Nigeria but not compared to the ones in Ghana.
Also, there have been predicted influential visit to Africa countries, like the case of Obama. Many experts had to say that Nigeria would be the first Africa country he would visit as it’s the Giant of the continent.
To the surprise of many, Obama decided to take his first Africa visit as the president in Ghana.
After Jack Dorsey visit to Nigeria in 2019, he announced that he was going to be moving to an Africa country in 2020. And the duration of his stay would be for six months.
Many had predicted that the Africa country would be Nigeria, as the tweet came after his visit.
Although, he cancelled the plan to do so due to the reason of Covid-19.
However, if his decisions changes, the announcement might just be the answer to everyone’s curiosity.