As a result of the socio-economic growth, political stability in most African countries, improved educational programs and professionals; there has been a rise of International companies and their subsidiaries in at least every African country who ferry their workers to execute specific jobs especially in the technology, telecommunication and lucrative oil and gas industry. Organizations often use expatriate assignments as a means to send key staff abroad for high-potential career development and to co-ordinate global lines of business, as well as transfer organizational knowledge. For individuals, such assignments represent opportunities and challenge both professionally and personally. However expatriate assignments provide the novelty and excitement of moving to another country and operating in a different cultural environment. They can also provide an opportunity to acquire new language skills, develop cultural understanding, and see new parts of the world. Out of the company scenario some expats move to some countries based on huge salaries for their skills amongst others. This new phenomenon has seen a couple of African Countries play host to huge number of expats.
South Africa stands as Africa’s top destination for expats and investors. The capital, Cape Town, offers a diverse environment and the luxuries of urbanization. Expats looking for working opportunities would be surprised by South Africa’s rapidly-developing technology sector and blossoming Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). If Cape Town is not for you, the popular Johannesburg is considered as Africa’s economic capital hosting large international mining companies. According to a forum on Expat arrivals, many expats who made their way to South Africa’s Cape Town found the city energetic and full with opportunity. In the words of Lisa Huang who traveled to the city to seek a job opportunity “I am loving the opportunities and life in the Mother City”. The telecommunication, banking and mining industries according to reports attract the largest number of expats to South Africa.
Information released by InterNation, the worldwide Expatriate Networking Organization with 1.7 million members, reveals from participants of its “Expat insider survey” that Nigeria was host to about 74 percent of expats in Africa. These expats according to reports work in the oil and gas industry, telecommunication, transport & logistics and the entertainment industry which is ranked third in the world after Hollywood and Bollywood. According to Medibroker website, recent study showed that expats in Nigeria are amongst the highest global earners; 12% of respondents to Expat Insider Survey said they earned more than 250,000 dollars yearly. While the huge salaries for expats in Nigeria are probably to compensate for the high risk and kidnappings around oil rigs, Nigeria expats also work the longest hours and the cost of living in the two biggest cities Lagos and Abuja are high which defines the salary scales.
Kenya’s good infrastructure and political stability coupled with its stylish yet affordable housing options, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and cosmopolitan districts, several multinational companies have open offices in its capital, Nairobi. The Chinese news agency CCTV, US’ General Electric and the Rockefeller Foundation use the country as their hub in the African region. There is still a pull for managers of multinational companies and International NGO employees and volunteers who flock the city which gradually been dubbed the African Metropolitan. According to reports, most expats work as top managers in international companies and organizations. While many expats in the country lead guarded lived, the local culture is in fact very welcoming and you can often have a much higher quality as wished.
With the growing hydrocarbon, telecommunications, mining and transportation industries, Real Estate and technical services, Ghana has attracted diverse expats from around the world. There are plenty of employment opportunities for highly skilled foreigners who will find that the salary offered exceeds what they may earn at their home countries. Ghana has also drawn expats for a very different reason. As the British colony of Gold Coast it had a history as a center of the slave trade. Many African Americans and West Indians have roots here, and have made the emotional journey to trace the steps of their ancestors. For most it is a traumatic experience, but increasing numbers feel they have ‘come home’. Many are buying property, starting a new life and building businesses with international standards which attract expats.
Quiet Botswana is host to of the world’s largest rough diamond producers, attracting foreign mining companies and jewelry makers. Thousands of British expats, employed in UK-based mining companies, call Botswana capital Gaborone home. Healthcare is of a good standard with commendable urban structures and technology advancements. The political stability and economic growth of the southern African state has made it a hub for expats neighboring countries and Asia who hope for better opportunities and salaries especially in the mining and technology sector.
Other Countries like Tanzania which has invested hugely in its economy and education, as well as Gabon and Equatorial Guinea who are witnessing a boom in the oil and gas sector cannot be left out as they are also destinations for expats. Assistant Lecturer at Catholic University Institute of Buea and Researcher in Transport Economics, and Sustainable Rural Development and Resource Mobilization, Mobit Othniel states that, “with the growing political stability, and development plans in most African states, Africa is gradually becoming an attractive destination for expats seeking higher salaries because of a demand for skilled workers”. Though the tally may differ between countries and based on other factors like socio-economic, health and technology infrastructures, It is worth noting that China has the largest expat community on the continent who are involved in almost every sector ranging from, telecommunication, construction, mining and education.
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