On Monday, April 12, 2021, Nigerians and the rest of the African continent read the important tweet that the owners of Twitter decided a few hours earlier to make Ghana its African headquarters.
What happened to the giant of Africa, Nigeria - which has more Twitter users than the entire population of Ghana?
Nigeria, who did this to you?
The tweet came from the CEO Jack Dorsey, who commended the forward-looking people of Ghana:
“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you Ghana and President Nana Akufo-Addo.”
Ghana’s well-spoken President, an intellectual and politician, fittingly responded with brevity, focus and value. In Nigeria, since 1999, the adjectives “intellectual” and “politician” are two words that rarely, very rarely go in the same sentence in my assessment of the dominant political discourses and visionless, social cannibalism masquerading as politics and struggle for power!
Akufo-Addo said: “The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. The government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country. As I indicated in our virtual meeting of April 7, 2021, this is the start of a beautiful partnership between Twitter and Ghana, which is critical for the development of Ghana’s hugely important tech sector. These are exciting times to be in, and to do business in Ghana.”
In a bizarre, twisted spin of Nigeria’s loss of a leading technology innovator and multibillion corporation Twitter to a very small but relatively stable economy of Ghana, a technophobe and member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC political party, Adamu Garba, started spitting into the wind of progress! The same Garba who sued Twitter for supporting the #EndSARS protests (but later withdrew the nuisance case) proclaimed “I pray Ghana would not allow their country (Ghana) to be used as a platform for the orchestration of nuisance on the African internet space. Nigeria is safer with the hypocrisy of Twitter. We shall have to improve on our methods for elimination of fake news on the information space.”
In the mannerism of a zealot drunken by the intoxications of political power and partisanship, Adamu Garba, an apologist for the incapable, incompetent and unfortunately failing presidency of retired General Buhari, still had the chutzpah to attack Twitter for the woeful prevailing realities, daily existential combustion which Nigerians face daily, under Buhari and their APC party; for the inhospitable investment environment, kidnapping and beheadings, bombings and bigotries, mediocrity and medievalism, nepotism on steroids and infrastructural inadequacies of Buhari’s Nigeria; and so on and so forth! In Garba’s fictional Nigeria, Twitter and democratic rights platforms all around the world “just hate Nigeria because they know that the only country that can be the next African super power, fully democratic…”
Contrary to what the Garbas say or claim, the social media push for democratic rights, freedoms of expression (albeit imperfect) and against bomb throwers of all kinds.
Twitter has become the world’s most influential and global organic news network. It’s as important as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Twitter was created in March 2006 and launched in July of that year — by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams.
According to digital consultant, David Sayce, “as of May 2020, every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are sent; that’s 350,000 tweets sent per minute; or, 500 million tweets sent each day; or, 200 billion tweets per year.”
The ultimate power or preferably the influence of Twitter lies especially in the aggregation and highlighting of heavily referenced item in the news, persons, tech or idea. I believe and know Twitter is at the epicenter of the social media revolution. @Chido247
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the forthcoming 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247