Aug 24

Pan-Africans gather to send message to diaspora

Top Pan-Africans from across the continent have appealed to the African diaspora to return home and contribute their skills and knowledge towards the growth and development of the continent.

Several Pan-African movers and shakers gathered at Homecoming Revolution’s ‘Relationships are Gold’ Networking Breakfast at the Hyatt Hotel, Rosebank on 19 August.

From dignitaries to chief executives to global HR professionals, the event brought together a dynamic mix of people who are each innovating in their respective fields. The bespoke event provided a golden opportunity for influential individuals to power their pan-African network through its dynamic and interactive format that allowed attendees to give messages of inspiration for skilled Africans who are contemplating coming home.

“Over the years we as Homecoming Revolution have had face to face contact with 17 000 African Professionals across the world. We have leveraged these relationships, helping us leapfrog as a business and grow our presence across the continent,” said Faye Tessendorf, Director and Shareholder at Homecoming Revolution.

“In this day and age- people often underestimate the power of collaboration and that is why it is so critical for us to keep networking and bringing like-minded individuals together,” she continued.

“You are missing out if you aren’t on the continent right now,” Director at McKinsey & Company Acha Leke told the audience.

Innocent Dutiro, CEO of MMI Holdings Africa, emphasised the need for diaspora talent on the continent.

“To have talent that has been exposed to more mature markets is what we’re looking for. Africans living in the diaspora would be ideal candidates for our business.”

Richard Akwei, Executive Director at Musa Capital Advisors Limited, echoed Mr Dutiro’s sentiments, saying there is a definite need for strong skills on the continent.

“We need to collaborate and empower Africans, especially the youth, to develop crucial skills and provide the human capital we need to develop Africa.”

Christian Nyaundi, a Management Consultant at Deloitte, said he returned home from Sweden so he could tell his children he was part of the Africa rising story.

While Simone Vorster, HR Strategy and Execution Manager for Africa, said she returned to South Africa because she truly believed the grass was greener.

Ronak Gopaldas, Head of Country Risk at Rand Merchant Bank said he believes Africa is truly where the magic happens.

The ‘Relationships are Gold’ event also offered important insights into key trends influencing Africans abroad to return home.

“One of the most interesting trends we have noticed in recent months is an increase in inquiries from Africans abroad due to socio-political factors like Brexit, ‘Trumpism’ and South Africa’s recent local elections,” said Homecoming Revolution Founder and CEO Angel Jones.
Other distinctive trends cited by Jones as contributing towards the continent’s brain gain in recent months include: a desire to innovate and build from scratch, a sense of purpose and wanting to make a tangible difference to one’s community.

“In recent months, a common trend has emerged among the candidates we have placed for clients across the continent from Senegal to Lusaka to Nairobi. Highly skilled Africans want to pioneer, problem-solve and make a meaningful impact,” concluded Jones.