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Twitter Furthers its African Ambitions With its Newest Board Member

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Mimi Alemayehou

Mimi Alemayehou. Image credit: Energy For Growth Hub

Just a few months after its decision to establish presence in Africa, Twitter has further signaled its commitment to growing its reach on the continent by adding Mimi Alemayehou to its Board of Directors.

Alemayehou joins the social media giant’s board alongside the departure of Jesse Cohn, a Partner at Elliott Management, one of Twitter’s largest shareholders.

In a press release, Board Chair Patrick Pichette stated, "Mimi shares our commitment to social responsibility and strengthening global communities, and we're eager to benefit from her perspective and regional expertise as we expand Twitter's presence to Ghana and invest in improving our service across Africa and other regions."

Alemayehou comes from a finance background and currently is the SVP for Public-Private Partnerships at Mastercard. Before Mastercard, she was the Managing Director and a member of the Board of Directors for Black Rhino Group, a portfolio company of Blackstone that is focused on the development and acquisition of energy and infrastructure assets across Africa.

Outside of her deep private sector finance background, Alemayehou also has significant experience in the public sector as President Obama appointed her as EVP of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance agency of the U.S. government. Additionally, she was tasked by President George W. Bush to serve as the US Executive Director on the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank. She is also a Board Member of The ONE Campaign, FinDev Canada, and Climate Real Impact Solutions.

Alemayehou tweeted, “Thrilled to join the board of Twitter, particularly at a time when Twitter is working to expand its reach and impact around the world. I look forward to working closely with the management team and the rest of the board.”

Africa has been a major focus for Twitter, and in April 2021 the company reveled that it is actively building a team in Ghana and is exploring the potential to open an office in the country. After CEO Jack Dorsey wrapped up a months-long tour of the continent, during which he met with local entrepeneurs in Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa, he had stated that he would relocate to Africa for six months in mid-2020. However, Doresy's plans were scuttled by COVID-19.

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