How to make a successful return to an African country?

Boubacar Diallo

For many executives of the African diaspora, the return to Africa is an adventure. Between the change of scenery and stress, for a person who does not put all the chances on his side to successfully settle on the African continent, the bet is very risky. Between the reflection stage and the actual installation, many aspects need to be examined. Here are some tips for a successful return to an African country.


From idea to decision
Before deciding to return to one’s country of origin, the prospect of embarking on an entrepreneurial venture in Africa or security should not only be taken into account. A fortiori if it is a family expatriation. It is essential to learn about the daily environment of the country in which you choose to settle and start your business.

Do not forget that as a “repat” and “entrepreneur in the making”, you will have to perform many administrative procedures, search for premises, etc., as part of the creation of your business in your new country of residence while your spouse and children, if any, will be confronted with an environment that is completely unknown to them.

It is therefore imperative to think about all the elements that will affect you: safety, schooling, social life, health, etc. Even if you have already spent some time in another African country, keep in mind that living conditions are often diametrically opposed from one region to another or even between two neighboring countries.

Whether you leave alone or not, analyze the reasons that push you to settle in an African country: financial benefits, challenge: “status of employee” to “entrepreneur”, want to contribute to the development of his country of origin. To succeed in this transition, you must be able to understand the motive that motivates you.

From decision to preparation

When preparing for an installation in Africa, it is essential to carry out research, to find out from people living in your new host country, or, if a job awaits you, to put you in touch with company that recruits you. You must make yourself an idea of ​​your new life.

If you leave alone to start your business, turn to the expat networks present on site. They will inform you about the steps to take, the pitfalls to avoid, or even put you in touch with their network relational.

Look for information that allows you to anticipate your future life in Africa.

From preparation to adaptation

Once settled in Africa, to succeed in your return, it is crucial that you adapt quickly to your new life, both personally and professionally. This means including understanding and adapting to local customs and delving into the culture of your new country of residence.

In professional terms in Africa, the world of work is recognized for its specificity. To integrate, you must establish trusting relationships with the people with whom your new company contracts (suppliers, employees, etc.). This aspect is very important in Africa, so it should not be neglected. Strive to build relationships of mutual respect with the individuals you work with.

If you go with your family, make sure that everyone in your family is involved in local life. From the moment you have children, make sure that outside of school they can have contact with other children of the same age.

Returning to an African country, having lived many years abroad or all your life is a real challenge both professional and personal. Keep in mind, that for a successful return to an African country, you must think about your idea, prepare yourself and adapt.

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