June 8

Analysis: Twitter Ban Will Harm Nigeria as a Technology Investment Destination

In recent years Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, has become Africa’s most attractive tech hub for investors. But that could be imperilled by the government’s decision to suspend Twitter’s operations in the country.

Although no direct connection has been drawn, the ban came two days after Twitter took down a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari. Twitter claimed the message had been deleted because it violated its rules against “abusive behaviour”. The ban could be in retaliation.

A new chill entered into the relationship between Nigeria and Twitter in mid-April when the social media platform chose Ghana for its regional headquarters. Nigeria’s market is bigger than Ghana’s, with more Twitter users than Ghana has citizensGhana won because its government has created an attractive environment for external investors by improving the country’s electricity output, and investing in good roads and a paperless port project.

Nevertheless, Nigeria’s fledgling technology sector had been seen as an attractive proposition to investors because of the pool of talent in Nigeria, increasing smartphone penetration and access to the Nigerian market of 200 million people.

The Nigerian technology scene, concentrated in Lagos, is a recent and rare success story. One particular area of growth has been the financial technology (fintech) sector.

Photo courtesy of Olumide Bamgbelu.

Source: The Conversation (link opens in a new window)

Investing, Technology
fintech, governance, impact investing