Facebook is opening a new office in Johannesburg, South Africa, this month to target its next billion users
The new office will be lead by Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke, who previously helped build a network in sub-Saharan Africa for communications agency Ogilvy & Mather.
The aim is to encourage businesses across the continent to advertise on Facebook as well as boosting growth. Facebook will focus on growing markets in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
“We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect,” says Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president for EMEA at Facebook. “This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions.
“Mobile is not a trend; its 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,” she adds.
The social media giant has been increasing its efforts to win over Africa in the last couple of years, especially through its Internet.org initiative, which is striving to bring together technology leaders, not-for-profit organisations and local communities to connect the two-thirds of the world that doesn’t have internet access.
The number of active users in Africa grew 20 per cent between September 2014 and June 2015. There are currently 120 million Facebook users on the continent.