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Facebook opens Johannesburg regional office; Zimbabwe not covered

Facebook Vice President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Joanna Shields, speaks as Jonathan Labin, head of Global Marketing Solutions for the Middle East and North Africa, and Christian Hernandez, Director of Platform Partnerships, look on during a news conference for the opening of Facebook offices in Dubai May 30, 2012. Social networking site Facebook opens its first office in the Middle East on Wednesday, in Dubai's Internet City, according to local media. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: SOCIETY BUSINESS)

Johannesburg – Social media giant Facebook has opened its first office in South Africa and the continent in Johannesburg.

Upmarket urban development Melrose Arch in Johannesburg will house Facebook’s African office, the social network said on Monday.

Advertising veteran Nunu Ntshingila has also been named the new head of Facebook’s African office.

Facebook plans to use the Johannesburg office as a launchpad to grow the social media service in Africa. Facebook had 100 million users on the continent in September 2014.

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Facebook also says that more than 80% of its African users access the social network via mobile phones.

“This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside the US and Canada. But we’re just getting started,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President, Europe Middle East and Africa, Facebook.

The social network initially plans to focus on growing its business in “anchor countries” in Africa such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

“Other supported territories include Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia,” said Facebook in a statement.-The Zimbabwe mail.