Facebook has opened its first African office – in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg – in a bid to support and accelerate business growth and connectivity among people doing business in Africa, the company announced.

“Our new African office will support our customers across the continent. We know that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to building products and solutions that address diverse needs on the continent, which is why we are committed to creating solutions tailored to people, businesses and specifically for African markets,” said Ari Kesisoglu, Facebook’s regional director for Middle East and Africa (MEA), in a statement.

Ntshingila and her team will initially focus on growing Facebook’s footprint in the South, East and West regions of Africa through SA, Kenya and Nigeria as well as Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.

Kesisoglu said the company’s priority over the next few months will be to work closely with local businesses and agencies in order to gain a deep understanding of the challenges facing the region and develop tailor-made solutions.

“Businesses need stronger, more flexible and less fragmented ways of reaching people in sub-Saharan Africa. Our mission will be to connect brands and consumers in Africa, creating value for all parties in the process,” he said.

Ntshingila, who has previously held senior positions at Nike and on the South African Tourism board, is set to join the team in September.

Currently, Facebook has an active user base in excess of 120 million across Africa, up 20% from 100 million users in September last year.

With a population of more than 1 billion people and a burgeoning mobile user market base, Africa has become an attractive investment destination for mobile-based businesses.