Travel: Relocating to another African Country for Work

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By Jennifer Ehidiamen

 

VENTURES AFRICA – Either by choice or circumstance, people find themselves relocating from one region to another. So often we hear jaw-dropping statistics of xyz millions of Nigerians living and working in Canada, with no faces to these stories. But beyond crossing the Atlantic Ocean for greener pastures, how is the situation with Africans crossing borders within the same region or continent, to set up or take-up business opportunities?

 

Have you been away from your home country while working in another region for over a year? Or Are you about to relocate to another African country for work? Before you pack and zip up those bags, enjoy this chat I had with Kathleen and Nicolas-Patience recently. They are living examples of everyday men and women exploring opportunities in other African countries.

 

Chat with Kathleen Ndongmo

What do you do for a living?

I am a Project Manager

What is your country of origin?

Cameroon

How long have you lived in your present country? And why did you move here?

I have lived in Nigeria since 2008. I relocated from Nairobi to Lagos for work.

What do you like most about this country?

It is a country of immense opportunity. The population, the diversity in the markets, the growing economy, the positioning and influence technology and innovation has means that there is so much I can contribute and achieve in so many different sectors. That interests me.

Does $1 USD have more value here or in your country of origin? Give an example of what it can buy in both countries.

Lagos is undoubtedly one of Africa’s expensive cities. A dollar here will hardly buy me a loaf of bread, yet a dollar in Cameroon will buy me a whole meal!

What are you not so impressed about?

The basics that should work don’t. Life is tough without electricity and water. It means you become your own local government. That can be quite an expensive lifestyle. It makes it worse when you live on less than a dollar a day.

What are the shared value you see between Nigeria and Cameroon?

A lot of shared family values, cultural and some societal values. Things like bride price and obeying parents, going to church etc are all values that as Africans we share.

What other African country do you think you will like to live in near future and why?

Kenya. Perhaps because I have first hand experience of living there and enjoying the good weather, and the efficiency of the systems. It is a beautiful place where I wouldn’t mind raising children. Other than Kenya, Ghana is a second choice!

 

Chat with Nicolas-Patience Basabose

What do you do for a living?

Consultant in various industries: Media/Branding, Marketing, Interior design/architecture, TV/Radio.

Publisher of a Congolese weekly LeCongolais (www.lecongolais.cd)

Chief Creative Officer for Jean 3:16 (www.jean316.com) : A sport kit design firm.

What is your country of origin?

Democratic Republic of the Congo

How long have you lived in your present country? And why did you move here?

Seven years. I moved for political and health reasons but found myself in a place I could use my skills having access to most facilities I couldn’t while back in Congo.

What do you like most about South Africa?

It’s level of infrastructure development and the opportunities it offers in my trades of interest.

How will you describe the business and leisure environment? Does $1 USD have more value here or in your country of origin? Give an example of what it can buy in both countries.

The business environment is pretty stable compared to the DRC. Given the level of infrastructure advancement, leisure offers more options than in the DRC. $1 USD has more value here that in DRC, with $1 in Congo you can’t even buy a can of Coke which is the case in South Africa for R8 = $1

What are you not so impressed about?

The immigration laws, everything seems to have been put in place to make sure foreigners live in hell. Apartheid made South Africans so closed down to themselves so the average man/woman doesn’t have a leveled knowledge of the World and they tend to see foreigners as “invaders” not really migrants as we would like to see ourselves. Can’t blame them for that level of ignorance.

What are the shared value you see between here and your country?

The importance of family and the support system it provides.

What other African country do you think you will like to live in near future and why?

I have been to numerous African countries and besides South Africa, the only place I can live in is certainly my own country DRC. There are so many things I am currently doing and there will come a time when my presence will be required more than now, so I see myself living there more permanently in the near future. Once I am done with certain business/social/leadership courses I will start soon.

Say something in the local language (and share what it means)

Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu: “A person is a person because of people.” Basically I am because you are… From which the principle of UBUNTU is derived from. A saying to summarize our common humanity.

 

Feel free to tell us about your experience the ups and downs, lessons learned so far, or how you are coping and taking new strides! E-mail: info@ventures-africa.com