What’s in it for expat professionals in Africa?

What’s in it for expat professionals in Africa?

What’s in it for expat professionals in Africa?

Perhaps the majority of relocating expatriate professionals don’t see themselves as developing their careers in Africa, but this fascinating continent has much to offer those willing to try.

The majority of expats living all across Africa are professionals on reassignment from their multinational companies and are working in the oil, gas or mining industries. In addition, the continent’s student population is growing at a good rate and international organisations involved in conservation and health services also contribute considerably to expatriate numbers across the vast continent. The most popular sectors for expat participation are education, telecommunication, healthcare, banking and trade. As regards entrepreneurial expats, the Chinese seems to have cornered that market, as they’ve already done in a number of Southeast Asian countries.

South Africa is a popular posting for professionals, and has created incentives to attract the brightest and best. The government’s quota system for those in professions such as education, engineering and healthcare means there’s no problem with getting a work permit, and the country is one of the most developed on the continent. Other attractions include a warm climate, adequate infrastructure and excellent healthcare, magnificent scenery and a reasonable cost of living.

Western Africa is now opening up to expat professionals as well as retirees, with Ghana in particular offering incentives to older African-Americans looking to be part of an expat retiree community. Gambia and Cape Verde are also working to attract pensioners looking for an exotic retirement destination. If it’s money that’s the main motivation, Nigeria is the place to make it, along with the highest number of top-income earning expatriates in the entire continent. Another advantage is that English is the official language of no less than 16 African states, mostly due to British colonialism in past times.

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