Marketing action to attract African diaspora talent home

The african Diaspora are never far from the thoughts of governments across this great continent. In many countries, their remittances to family and friends back home are a major source of foreign currency and a huge boost to GDP. Western Union and its competitors must benefit from such revenues.
African Diaspora can boost continent’s prosperity, says DR Congo-born Amini Kajunju. Net photo
African Diaspora can boost continent’s prosperity, says DR Congo-born Amini Kajunju. Net photo

The african Diaspora are never far from the thoughts of governments across this great continent. In many countries, their remittances to family and friends back home are a major source of foreign currency and a huge boost to GDP. Western Union and its competitors must benefit from such revenues.

But of course the money transfer is not all one way. Millions are sent from Africa to support students and other family members in need overseas. I do recall being told, some years ago, that one money transfer brand made sure to throw a party once a year in Mombasa. This was to say a personal thank you to the many ladies of the night, who diligently send much of their earnings overseas!

Many in government would like to encourage Africans to come back to Africa, and some are beginning to relax their nationality rules so that returnees can hold two passports and, therefore, not relinquish the protection and benefits of overseas nations.

There’s no doubt that we in business also need well qualified returnees. Bringing with them experience of market-driven economies, and not just a sheaf of academic certificates. And let’s be honest, many of them will not demand the perks and privileges of expatriates because they are returning to an infrastructure and support network that knows them.

That is why I was so interested to discover a movement, which was established in South Africa in 2003, called the Homecoming Revolution.

The brainchild of Angel Jones, an award winning South Africa advertising and creative person who spent years in the UK before the pull of home became too strong for her.

Now the movement she started is opening offices in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana.


Says Kenyan chief executive officer Joe Njeru: “Homecoming Revolution is a one-stop African skills repatriation platform. We target top skilled Kenyans (and South Africans, Nigerians, Ghanaians and Ugandans) and encourage them to return to their homelands.

“The beauty of an African returnee is that they bring home a combination of a tenacious spirit, global expertise, a nuanced African business knowledge and a willingness to give back – it’s a very powerful combination.” 

It’s a combination that has caught the attention and enlisted the support of many corporates active on the continent. These include Accenture, Addis, Foschini, Group Five, Avis, Investec, McKinsey, SABMiller, Deloitte, Standard Bank and Toyota, among other.

If you want to find out more there’s a highly interactive website at: www.homecomingrevolution.com. And as Njeru says Homecoming Revolution shares a snapshot of the incredible talent of home-comers to Africa on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaaLyCCbGZI&feature=youtube

Furthermore, if you happen to be in London, or indeed have friends and relatives living there, there’s a Homecoming Revolution London Expo on March 15-16, 2014 at the Kensington Olympia Conference Centre.

This one other great initiative, from Africa.

The writer is a marketing and advertising experts based in Nairobi, where he leads The Brand Inside, a marketing and advertising agency.

Follow him on Twitter: harrisoncj

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