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Facebook has officially opened its Africa office in Johannesburg, six months after Memeburn first reported it would be doing so.
Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook’s newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Head of Africa.
According to Facebook, the office will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook. The social network says that Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people 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. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside the US and Canada. But we’re just getting started,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, VP, EMEA, Facebook.
“Mobile is not a trend; it’s 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,” Mendelsohn adds.
“Africa is important to Facebook, and this office is a key part of our strategy to expand our investment and presence across EMEA. Facebook is already a central part of people’s lives in Africa, and with more than a billion people in Africa, we want to do more to help people and businesses connect.”
Facebook says that its aim is to help customers across the continent, but adds that it’ll initially focus on a number of high-growth markets and will anchor its regional efforts in some countries. These anchor countries include: Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa). Other supported territories include Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
“Our new African office will support our customers across the continent. We know that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to building products and solutions that address diverse needs on the continent, which is why we are committed to creating solutions tailored to people, businesses and specifically for African markets,” says Ari Kesisoglu, Regional Director, MEA at Facebook.
“Our priority for the next few months is to continue the work we are already doing with some clients in this region,” he adds. “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 in Sub Saharan Africa. Our mission will be to connect brands and consumers in Africa, creating value for all parties in the process.”