Firm seeks to curb brain drain

Interims for Development launched ReConnect Africa, a unique online publication which would offer a one-stop shop for those who recruit and manage talent in Africa and provides jobs, information and advice for job seekers and entrepreneurs around the world looking at career and business opportunities in Africa.

Explaining the need for ReConnect Africa, Interims for Development, Ghanaian founder and CEO Frances Williams said: “The continent’s brain drain is posing an increasingly critical problem for African governments, with the loss of skills impacting severely on economic growth and enterprise development in many countries. Enticed by powerful international recruitment campaigns by the West, many of our most highly trained professionals are leaving.”

Skilled professionals working within Africa also experience difficulty in identifying better opportunities in their own countries and elsewhere around the continent.

“ReConnect Africa is about bringing together the people of a continent where fractured communications can hamper the sharing of knowledge and information and the many examples of successful business practices and people management,” added Williams.

Despite the often negative portrayal of Africa in the media, increasing political stability around the continent has led to many successful economic turnarounds and business growth in many countries, while Western and African multinationals continue to post significant profits in traditional manufacturing and exports as well as in the newer sectors of telecommunications, technology and business process outsourcing.

According to World Bank estimates, replacing the skills lost from Africa costs more than US$4 billion a year. While Africa today offers my opportunities for both newly qualified and experienced professionals, attracting this talent back into Africa and reaching the African talent around the content can prove a challenge.

ReConnect Africa offers convenient recruitment packages for employers in Africa and a range of careers, tools and services for job seekers.

“There are many Africans with the technical skills and managerial expertise needed in Africa,” says Williams. “ReConnect Africa provides a resource for professionals around the world with their eye on Africa.”

For employers in Africa, ReConnect Africa offers a valuable source of comprehensive information and immediate access to professionals in the Diaspora.

Companies such as global drinks giant Diageo, which employs almost a fifth of its workforce within Africa, admit that finding African talent who were keen to return was key to their continued success.

“Many companies like Diageo have realised that there is outstanding talent within and outside Africa that will provide the capacity and the capability to enable Africa to develop to its full potential,” says John Patterson, human resources director for Diageo Africa.

“Outside the continent, there are a thousand different organisations that represent various members of the African Diaspora and there really needs to be one place like ReConnect Africa where all Africans can connect. Given the range of services and information it provides, this is a valuable site that focuses on the African as a consumer wanting to reconnect with all things African.”‘ Business in Africa.

August 2006
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