After announcing on Tuesday that Facebook had opened its office in Johannesburg, South Africa, Facebook now eyes the East African market with a major focus on Kenya.

The social media network with over 5 Million users locally looks into partnering with governments, telecom operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised solutions to advertisers and users continent-wide.

“Facebook will initially focus on growing its business in anchor countries in the major regions of sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa),” the firm said in a statement.

The statement also added that the social network platform will as well continue to focus on tailoring solutions, metrics and ad formats to the needs of customers and advertisers in the mobile-first, mobile-only African environment.

“We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect. This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. Africa is important to Facebook, and this office is a key part of our strategy to expand our investment and presence across EMEA. Facebook is already a central part of people’s lives in Africa, and with more than a billion people in Africa, we want to do more to help people and businesses connect,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President, EMEA, and Facebook.

But why would Facebook have interest in Africa?

Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20 per cent to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014 where more than 80 per cent of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones.

With more than a billion people, Africa holds vast potential for Facebook and the company expects this growth to continue as the cost of data services decreases and more people upgrade from basic feature phones to smartphones that are capable of running its full mobile app.

Facebook described the opening of its new office as “the first step in furthering our investment in Africa and its people”. However, the company has been investing in technology products for the region for some time.

Via CIO