Twitter closes Africa office after Ghanaian lay-offs
Twitter’s policies and strategies under new owner, Elon Musk, include shutting down its only regional office in Ghana, a decision that President Nana Akufo Addo and tech industry players have described as unfortunate.
Twitter opened its first Africa office in Ghana in April 2021, a great leap of faith in the West African country.
At the time, the social network was battling a ban in neighbouring Nigeria, which has since been lifted.
Speaking under condition of anonymity, a Ghanaian tech industry leader told ITWeb Africa: “They received mails yesterday informing them about the company’s decisions. They were somehow expecting it because Musk has not expressed any keenness to grow the Africa office since the take-over started.”
Twitter is laying off 50% of its workforce, including all of its employees at the African office in Ghana. Its other global workers will now also have to work from home, bringing an end to remote working which had also been popular at the African office until recently.
The BBC earlier quoted Twitter employees at the Ghanaian office saying they had been "offered 3 months of severance" and described it as “very insulting".
"From the mail to the lack of next steps to the tone of the letter. Just everything. Ridiculously insulting,” the employees said.
President Addo has responded to the development with shock. He said Ghanaians and Africans had long looked forward to the opening of the regional office which happened last year.
“It’s unfortunate, we looked forward to its presence and it was not too long that it opened. I understand that its part and parcel of the global restricting of the company that is taking place under the new owner so I think it’s very unfortunate that this should take place,” he said in response to a question by CBS.
The Ghanaian leader added that “the more that organisations like that have local offices the better for all of us”.
In emails to employees, Musk said this month that the new strategies, including layoffs and pushing a subscription model for verified accounts, was necessary to enable the company to rise above looming global economic uncertainties that include declining advertising revenue.