The continent of Africa could easily be considered the most diverse and magnificent place on Earth, yet for many years it was a place that businesses chose not to invest in.
However, this has changed in recent years and although there have been persistent obstacles and unique challenges, more and more industries and businesses, including resources, finance, retail, agriculture, transportation and telecommunications are drawn to expanding into the area and tapping into Africa’s enormous economic potential.
Indeed, industries and businesses are choosing to continually expand their footprint into Africa, regardless of the challenges, because the opportunities are so great.
Africa has a wealth of under-exploited natural resources, including 60% of the world’s total of uncultivated arable land, a consumer market of more than 300m people that is growing sharply and a fast-emerging middle class. The opportunities really are available in abundance.
To help build these industries and businesses, employers have sourced professionals from overseas and appointed these expats to top leadership positions all over Africa. This had the benefit of the employer knowing what they were getting and the expat knowing what they wanted, plus it made total sense at the time as there was only a small pool of local talent.
The African nation’s governments welcomed the influx of foreign workers, accepting that they play a crucial role in channelling resources and information within the foreign firms and indeed within the host country’s economy.
However, the host nations had strong views on the need for having succession plans in place that would require these expat employees to build strong local teams and pass on their skills, so as a nation they could build a future in the most sustainable and cost-effective way.
In recent times, African nations have added additional layers of red tape, visa, regulatory and work permit restrictions to encourage the employment of local talent and audit foreigners with illegal work permit.
In April 2018, the government of Africa faced a criticism for hiring 100 Cuban doctors and giving them better salaries than Kenyan medics. Preference of expats over local created unrest in locals and a sense of worry for the government.
In order to take some measures against the unequal recruitment of local and expats, government decided to take some steps forward to better the situation. Few days back, Kenyan government issued a 60-day ultimatum to the expatriates to regularize their work-permit documents or run in to risk of being deported. Moreover, the ministry of interior has also embarked an exercise to figure out all the undocumented foreign workers.
The move is believed to help government help in letting go the illegals expats from the nation and make more place for local candidates.
In addition to this, to bolster local talent recruitment and make it easy for local candidates to apply for job opportunities, there are new platforms that are being introduced to the Africa’s market. For instance, a local recruitment website named Bountly has been designed to connect local job seekers and students with wide-range of full-time and part-time jobs.
Looking at the present scenario, we can expect a rise in the local employment in Africa. However, we cannot neglect the skill shortage in Africa and the inevitable need of outsourcing talent for some of the job roles and sectors. Hence, the need for expats can never be eliminated completely from the region that requires both local talent and foreign talent to flourish well.
Looking at these increasing demands for local talent across Africa, companies might face challenges in recruiting the very best talent for their operations. To their rescue, IMS one world lets them have sit back and recruits top-notch local talent for their companies; irrespective of the sector or industry they belong to.
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