Is it time to go home?

Is it time to go home?

“Brain Drain” has afflicted many African countries in recent decades. Homecoming Revolution aims to reverse this trend

Is it time to go home?

I caught up with Angel Jones, CEO at the recent Speed Meet Africa event in London.

With a focus on South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, they introduce worldwide African professionals to employers and relocation services back home.

Speaker Lineup – Afua Hirsh, Pumela Salela, Ronen Aires, Thuli Madonsela, Angel Jones, Mmusi Maimane, Osato Aghatise, Peter Burdin
What do you think are the main reasons why many expats are drawn to return home?

Expats return home for a variety of reasons. Often the desire to be near friends and family is a factor, as well as the feeling that they have a sense of purpose and belonging in the country. Given the huge number of opportunities that are opening up on the African continent, many people are attracted to the prospect of developing an innovative career. The climate and outdoor lifestyle is also a big draw; one’s children can grow up with bare feet on the lawn, and one’s Rand goes a lot further than one’s Pound!

Mmusi Maimane speaking at Speed Meet London
Mmusi Maimane speaking at Speed Meet London
What sort of opportunities are on offer in South Africa from a career point of view?

In South Africa we have a critical skills shortage with 800,000 vacancies across all sectors. There are significant shortages within IT, Management Consultancy, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Education professions.

How many expats have returned home over the last few years?

359,000 South Africans have returned in the past five years.

Bloomberg stand at Speed Meet
Bloomberg stand at Speed Meet
Why is the return of expats so important for South Africa’s prospects?

For every one skilled person who returns to South Africa, nine new jobs are created in the formal and informal sectors; the ripple effect is incredible.

Is the South African government doing anything to encourage the return of skilled expats?

Absolutely. We are working with government – we are official partners with Brand South Africa – and are also working with the Department of Health.


In addition to the Private Sector, does Homecoming Revolution’s network also extend into the state and NGO sectors?

Yes, we have Africa Health Professionals here at the Expo in London today as well as Teach For All, amongst others. Our network includes a whole host of organisations in the public and non-profit sectors.

Does Homecoming Revolution offer any other practical support for those moving back?

There is lots of advice on our website including tips on the practicalities of moving, information on relocation services and schools, as well as stories and first-hand advice from those who have recently made the move.

Do you have any advice for people contemplating returning home?

It is easy to love and hate South Africa all at the same time. It is a place where you might feel alive, overjoyed and yet terrified all in the same day! There is never going to be a perfect time to move, but trust your heart and follow it.