Amidst the health crisis due to the spread of the Coronavirus from Asia to other continents and countries, there are economic concerns besides the disruption in plans and travels. COVID-19 started with a lot of panic without the full knowledge of the resultant effect of this health crisis beyond the health of individuals. Unfortunately, as lots of conferences and plans were cancelled and travel plans suspended, a much-anticipated move in the Nigerian and African tech space has also been affected indefinitely.
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Last November in a town hall meeting at Techpoint Africa, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, along with some of the executives at Twitter visited some prime location in Nigeria. The visit was like a trial visit to see how the African market for Twitter is and how they can plan to increase the number of users of the app in the country. With a promise to spend 6 months in an African country in the year 2020, the tech ecosystem was anticipating this as it would lead to an increase in visibility for some while providing job opportunities for others.
In a tweet, Jack Dorsey mentioned a change in plans due to the global concern of CONVID-19 and “everything else going on”.
While this tweet can be passed on as something quite simple and understandable with everything happening globally, the timing, as well as other happenings around the news, raises eyebrows. Recently, his position as Twitter CEO has been shaky with Twitter investors raising concerns on his ability and availability for the expansion of the company. It is interesting to note that Jack Dorsey, though popularly known as the CEO of Twitter is also the CEO of Square Inc., a fintech company that focuses on debit and credit card payment on mobile devices. Recent reports have materialized about one of the shareholders of Twitter – Elliot Management, pushing for his replacement.
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More clarification on one of his tweet showed that although there has been progressing in the app’s development, it has been mostly slow because more impactful changes have been happening below the surface. The long term play with Twitter for Jack has been increased relevance and meaningful impact and not a short term boom with ads and stocks. This may not go down well with the other investors as it seems things are quite shaky for Jack at this time and he may have to face the decision of being CEO of one of Twitter or Square Inc.
As the case may be, especially with the booming market in Africa, Twitter will only be exploring opportunities in the African market from afar off rather than in the continent, at least until the tides go down and new plans can be made.
I’ll leave you with this word by Roger von Oech on risk and taking the leap:
“Everyone has a ‘risk muscle.’
You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don’t, it atrophies.
Make a point of using it at least once a day.”– Roger von Oech
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