Hello people..I haven't had a YM's MT & R post in a while..So there is my musing, rant & thought for this week..What will it take to start a "Moving Back" to Camer movement? So you want to Move Back
First off..Can I say we should try to promote some good about pays?? Camers are very good at criticizing anything about Cameroon..Case in point..I am not going home in December because of Ebola..Cameroon was never on the "Ebola Map" to begin with.
Inspired by this article on Bella Naija with a recap and pictures of the recent. "Moving Back To Nigeria Annual Networking Night"
As someone who has lived full circle, I can very much appreciate why people are "scared" of moving back but also know that some of those who are up to the challenge & ready to deal with the limitations are smiling to the bank.
So you want move back to Cameroon (or Africa)??
Understand the local market
Anything thing needs planning and research. Follow news especially business news to understand the local market and how/where/when your skills and investments will fit in. Things are happening in the different sectors in Cameroon...Be it Agriculture, Real Estate, changing policies, Finance, Mining, Oil & Gas etc..Follow the news. It will be great to read something like "A group of Germany based Cameroonians have received a license to open a factory in Limbe"...Anyhow..Just TOL (Thinking out Loud). If you want to get a job in Nigeria..Follow Naija news..Stalk all the job boards with Jobs in Nigeria..You get the drift!! Check out Business In Cameroon
Calibrate Your Expectations.
So the internet is not as fast as you would like it to be..Kini big deal?? lol. And oh reminder, there is no "Yelp" or GPS to locate your best "Chinese" restaurant..Go ask your friend oh. haha. Those are some of the challenges one has to adapt to. The lack of readily available information and reliable logistics system are some of the limitations which I chose to see as opportunities. The good news? The internet is bridging the information gap. More and more businesses have an online presence and "word" of mouth is easier via platforms, blogs etc. Word to the wise: "Be ready to adapt & calibrate your expectations"
Appreciate Your Exposure
A friend of mine who is based in Camer keeps repeating it. We take our exposure for granted. There are many people who do not know better. So sometimes just give people the benefit of the doubt and educate/inform.
Networking & building stronger diaspora communities
Network, Network and Network again. Being away from home means you lost touch with your friends and family..."If you want set up for pays...Start go back often ya"..I can't say that enough!You have to be there to "reconnect". I am happy to see more and more networking events in Cameroon. E.g. "Ladies After Work", "Soirees Leadership".
Building effective and stronger diaspora communities can only help to bridge the gap between the Diaspora & home based professionals. I find that a lot of our organizations abroad are too focused on what can be done in Cameroon and forget about what can be done to improve the community as a whole in the countries where they live. I think stronger diaspora communities have a better and more effective impact in their countries. More events need to be organized with participation of people both at home and abroad.
I was involved in organizing a bloggers networking event in December with the goal of promoting effective collaboration between bloggers and entrepreneurs. The team of organizers was made up of bloggers and entrepreneurs at home and abroad. It was a great but challenging experience as I got to see and experience first hand some of the challenges which returnees face all the time. Check out more on us and our activities here
Creating And/or applying "Local Content Laws"
I don't know much about laws and policies in Cameroon..So someone tell me if I am wrong. Is there a "Local Content Law"?? Having lived and worked in Nigeria, I can say that "Building Local Content" is a must for any country who wants to attract and encourage local businesses. Having Local content laws "forces" knowledge and technology transfer, ensures partnerships between international and local companies, promotes the use of local talent and expertise.... just to name a few...Get an insight on Local content here. Another article in the image below. " Oil & Gas Affirmation Action: Making Local Content Everyone's Responsibility"
Spread good cheers by sharing Success stories.
Can we start trending more good stories?? There are many people at home who never left and are making it.I have to share this one. Please check out Spectra Beauty. I loved my experience there and I was even more impressed when I heard it was started by someone with a very humble beginnings and now is on his way to building an empire. Thumbs up to Valery & his team...
Then...There are those who moved back and navigated their way through the challenges. Check out an article of "The Returnees" on the "De Braun's Hill"..A series highlighting returnees!!
Check out this video from France 24
To wrap up... Moving back is not as bad but not a piece of cake either..To be good at what you do regardless whether you are a bushfaller, returnee, home and never left etc. You have to put in the time and work to make things work. Keep an open mind and be ready to adapt!! Hope the post helps to kick start the "Moving Back Movement" on my blog. Stayed tuned for more updates.
What do you think can be done to encourage people to move back home? If you could change just one thing, what will it be? The one thing that will make you back your bags and head back to the darling continent!!