So, you’ve been away from the continent for a long time. Your parents probably moved when you were a child, or maybe you’ve been studying abroad the past few years. And now, after getting world class education, gaining international experience and saving up, you’re thinking of moving back home. But you don’t know if this is the right decision, so you’re looking for convincing reasons. Look no further. Here are three reasons why young Africans in diaspora are moving back to the continent and why you should too:
- Employment and Business Opportunities
One of the top reasons people give for returning home is the growth opportunities for their career. With foreign and local investors companies finding it difficult to fill executive positions, having the right combination of quality education, international experience and local roots could give you the right edge.
For the entrepreneurially inclined, your insights on how to improve processes, spot problems and proffer solutions using global best practices is an advantage. As Nataly Woollett, a South African returnee, says to The Africa Report, "If you have a good idea and you have momentum and initiative, you can get really involved in ways that you can't in more developed contexts.”
- The Booming Economy
With African countries topping the list of fastest growing economies in the world, now is prime time for young Africans in diaspora to benefit from and contribute to the economy. You can invest in existing initiatives, start your own business, or work with key players in the economy. There is no time like now to bet on Africa. The barriers to entry are low and the returns, for those who push through, is exponential.
Ask Jason Njoku, a Nigerian entrepreneur who moved back from the UK to start iROKO, an online movie streaming service, and recently announced that his investors made a 3,000% return on investment for money invested five years ago.
Whether you are already on the continent, or thinking of how to contribute from a distance, here are some tips on how to invest in Africa.
- To be Closer to Your Roots
No matter what part of the world you are in, even if you are content with your current quality of life, there’s still a yearning to truly belong. Moving back home gives you the chance to belong to a community that will welcome you because you are one of them.
For Said Maxad, a Somali who moved back home from Seattle, being with his family again was the main motivating factor that led to his decision to return. He goes on to say, “After years of feeling out of place in Western culture, while not fully understanding my own cultural heritage, I felt the time was right to take a leap of faith and explore my roots. I wanted to see where I came from. I wanted to learn the foundations of Somali culture straight from the source.”
Bonus point: Because Akon says so. In an interview with Al Jazeera, popular musician, Akon said: “I always felt like Africa was for Africans. So, when I see African Americans in America dealing with all these issues, my first question is, ‘Why don’t they just go back home?’ Back to Africa, where they’ll be treated fair, where they’ll actually be praised for who they are.”
Whatever your current thought process, and regardless of what you’ve heard about how African countries are doing, you should think of coming back, because, after all, there’s no place like home. There is so much impact you can make and there are so many ways to give back to your home country. As Jerry Parkes says in this interview with the BBC, "I never stop thinking about how much more impact could be had in Africa if more diasporans decide to move back and do what they've been trained to do, what they're experienced at doing, within the continent.”
Thinking of moving back to start a business? Need help finding your feet? We can help with that. Our goal is to empower businesses like yours by providing them with the tools and knowledge necessary to drive high business performance. Here’s what some of our clients have to say. Contact us for a consultation.
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