Why Africa Market Matters For LinkedIn
By Tomori Uriel
In 2012, LinkedIn opened its 9th office in Asia, 25th globally. Eight years later, the largest professional networking site now has 33 global offices in Omaha, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., São Paulo, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Graz, Milan, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, Canada, India and Dubai– with some of its employees monitoring the activities of economic leaders in Africa, information flow and its talent management/acquisition.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the organisation has created a solid structure to ensure a large number of Africans on its platform get value for their time.
I’m a big fan of what the company stands for. Its culture, values, ethics and the support its C-level show users. The most interesting of its Five Pillars is the way it defines integrity as “we don’t believe the ends justify the means. Do the right thing.”
If you asked why LinkedIn doesn’t have an office in Africa, one could easily say it is of no use as long it keeps fulfilling its obligations. But as a platform setting a global agenda for the future of work, Africans need its purpose and rapt attention to fulfil its potential. It also needs the well connected Africa market to achieve its vision.
With South Africa having the highest number of users at 7M+, 5 African countries account for 19M+ of its users. This is a significant increase from the numbers recorded in 2016.
Asides the numbers, the opportunities in Africa are endless. With a population of over 1.3 billion, Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with an estimated 10 to 12 million young Africans joining the labour force each year. Accounts for 11.5% of the World’s Internet users with increasing teeming youth talents already exploring freelancing platforms and are ready to add value to the global workforce.
According to a study by McKinsey, Global business leaders who misunderstand Africa run the risk of missing out on one of the 21st century’s great growth opportunities. With McKinsey’s database of large companies with business in Africa revealing that 400 companies earning revenues of $1 billion or more and nearly 700 companies with revenue greater than $500 million.
Asides the economic opportunities, needless to say, that the Africa market will bring LinkedIn closer to its Founders’ vision of having 2 Billion users on the platform. One of LinkedIn’s purposes is to strengthen the global workforce and to ensure every one of its users gets a job. Giving the African market the attention it deserves will bring it closer to its purpose.
For Africa, it has missed out in several industrial evolutions and this has the continent underdeveloped. As we edge closer to the fourth industrial evolution– a world where collaboration and skills are vital for survival, influential corporate platforms such as LinkedIn must be at the forefront. This will not only add value to the continent but will as well enhance the dominance of LinkedIn. Coordination of information flow on its news feeds and several other value-added services on the platform should be driven towards serving the Africa market. This will require a closer and proper study of the African model of operational (context).
With the might of LinkedIn, one would wonder how much deals get kickoff daily. For a continent with over 19M+ users on the platform, these numbers are great opportunities to strike deals and create a smooth corporate atmosphere across Africa’s borders.
More than half of the global population growth by 2050 will occur in Africa. [√]