Thinking Citizen Blog — Ghana vs Nigeria: Why Did Twitter Chose Ghana over Nigeria?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Ghana vs Nigeria: Why Did Twitter Chose Ghana over Nigeria?
Continuity is key to depth of thought. I had a background post on Ghana on May 13, 2019. In it I attempted as best as I could to answer the question “What should every thinking citizen know about Ghana?” It covered geography, demographics, economics, history, and current politics. Last year on July 9th, I posted a follow-up on the most beloved song from Ghana (“Aseda Ye Onyame Dea”) as well as giving a little review of the geography and demographics. Today, a very different perspective. I just learned that Twitter chose to base its African operations in Ghana rather than Nigeria. Why? The first two thirds of the post are serious. The third is less so. While researching this post there was a reference to the “jollof war” between Nigeriaand Ghana. I had no idea what this about. So I did a little digging. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
GHANA VERSUS NIGERIA — population, ease of doing business, peace
1. Nigeria with a population of 206 million has more Twitter followers (40 million) than Ghana has people (32 million)! So why chose Ghana?
2. “Our ease of doing business is so bad that it’s easier for terrorists to get phone lines than law-abiding residents. You can land at Ghana’s Kotoka Airport and get a SIM card at the airport. But a camel has to pass through the eye of a needle to get one in Nigeria,” (Reno Omokri, Nigerian civil rights activist)
3. “In 2019, Ghana ranked 13 places higher than Nigeria in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.”
NB: “Ghana also ranked as the 43rd most peaceful country in the world, in the 2020 Global Peace Index, placing 104 spots ahead of Nigeria — which grapples with Boko Haram insurgency and periodic outbreaks of violence.”
THE SECRETARIAT OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AfCFTA)
1. “As a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate. Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.” (Twitter website)
2. “With the AfCFTA single market agreement which Africa is signed up to, a company like Twitter can choose to set up shop in a small market like Ghana — that gives the best opportunity for it to operate — and still serve the Nigerian market,” (Bosun Tijani, Nigerian technology entrepreneur and CEO of Co-Creation Hub),
3. “It’s unbelievable seeing Nigerians throwing a tantrum because Twitter went to Ghana. The lack of awareness of how bad things are in the country, the bloated sense of entitlement, the unhinged expectations that everyone should accept Nigeria’s dysfunction…it’s incredible!” (Onye Ajuju)
NB: “We need to start thinking very carefully about enhancing democracy and the rule of law, freedom of speech, and most importantly, our role in enabling the Africa Free Trade Agreement. It’s not enough for us to just be a big market… We have next door to us, a very competitive neighbor, who’s doing all the right things to make itself the hub of West Africa.” (Ayinoluwa Oboyeji, Nigerian entrepreneur)
GHANA VERSUS NIGERIA: the “jollof wars” — the battle over how to cook rice
1. Jollof rice is a staple of both Ghanan and Nigerian cuisiine. The basic ingredients are rice, tomatoes, onions and spices.
2. “Cooking methods vary between Nigerian and Ghanaian jollof, but the main difference is the type of rice used.”
3. “In making jollof, Nigerians use long-grain rice, which is sturdier and provides good flavor absorption, while Ghanaians use the more-aromatic basmati rice, which itself adds an extra flavor to the dish.”
NB: “The most common method of cooking jollof rice starts with seasoning the meat, which determines the quality and maturity of the meat stock and the ultimate flavor and taste of the rice.”
I have never been to Ghana or Nigeria. Have you? Is so, please share your thoughts.
Here is a link to the last three years of posts organized by theme:
Please share the coolest or most important thing you learned in the last week, month, or year related to foreign policy. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in our life related to foreign policy.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is the key to depth of thought. The prospect of imminent publication, like hanging and final exams, concentrates the mind. A useful life long habit.