On Friday, 25th September 2015 was organized The Speed Meet Africa, an event which brings together one of the best advantage Africa has: Its diaspora and its young movers and shakers. Here are 5 things you should always bear in mind when you think about our continent.
The interactive event, which took place at the Thomson Reuters building in the heart of Times Square, attracted 130 African trailblazers living in the USA who are interested in career opportunities on the continent.
“It was surprisingly encouraging to see how hungry candidates were to make a name for themselves back on the continent. No longer is New York seen by Africans as a place to make their mark, instead, the likes of Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos are now regarded as the key cities to drive your career,” says Angel Jones CEO of executive recruitment firm Homecoming Revolution.
“People are no longer being pulled home just by family and emotional ties. Ambition and drive are key factors that are drawing Africans home,” continues Jones.
Faye Condy, Director at Homecoming Revolution, says, “We have noticed a substantial shift in people wanting to do transactions & deals that contribute tangibly to their home countries, as opposed to working on deals in first world countries.”
Top brands including Thomson Reuters, Deloitte, CSCS Plc and Brand South Africa as well as incredible keynotes inspired the audience with very real examples of the potential and opportunities back home.
Sneha Shah, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters Africa, said this is the time to come home.
“You are meeting people with ideas and solutions in Africa all the time. There’s a sense of purpose and belonging it’s a fantastic adventure.”
Shaori Ajodha, Talent Acquisition Recruitment Leader at Deloitte, echoed these sentiments, saying, “There are endless opportunities to make an impact that matters in Africa.”
“Before we were begging people to come home & make a difference. You are missing out if you aren’t on the continent right now – you have seen all the statistics,” said Acha Leke, Senior Partner McKinsey & Co Africa, one of the keynotes at the event. “If we don’t change things who will? My message is simple – come home. You will look back one day and question why you didn’t,” he continued.
Alex Okosi, Senior VP & Managing Director Viacom Africa, said Africans abroad are truly missing out on an incredibly exciting time on the continent: “I encourage you to all think about your African journey. You can all take us to the next phase of the African renaissance.”
Global African branding and reputation architect Thebe Ikalafeng said Africa is only going to thrive if Africans support and believe in it: “When you see challenges in Africa you should take it as an opportunity. Come back to Africa because it has a future,” he continued.
Other keynotes included Liz Ngonzi (Afrika Tikkun USA), Mudunwazi Baloyi (Brand South Africa), Feyisayo Oshinkanlu (Young African MBA’s) and Amadou Daffe (Coders4Africa).
The Homecoming Revolution team was dressed by KISUA, a unique African fashion brand that showcases the continent’s brightest design talent to the world.
Homecoming Revolution is hosting its next event in London at the Park Plaza Victoria on 4-5 March. For more information on this and other exciting events visit www.homecomingrevolution.com.