“What is amazing about an African returning is that they’ve got that tenacity because they made it abroad, they’ve got their global expertise, they’ve got their local understanding of community business knowledge at home and they’ve got this real willingness to give back – that’s a very powerful commodity,” Angel Jones, the CEO and founder of the Homecoming Revolution, told CNBC Africa.
Homecoming Revolution, launched in 2003, offers support to those living abroad who would like to return to Africa.
The initiative encourages them to use the knowledge and skills that they have acquired to lead through entrepreneurship, contribute to job creation and improve their skills as well as the skills of others.
The initiative also aims to be incubators for entrepreneurs while allowing them to make it happen for themselves.
“It’s absolutely vital in each country, that it’s run by that country champion – somebody who has returned home. Every country is different. It really is going to be a campaign for the people, by the people, from the grassroots up,” Jones explained.
More needs to be done in showcasing the opportunities available to those who would like to return and she emphasised that it’s not about painting a perfect picture, but rather giving them a genuine picture of what they might be coming back to.
“You know it is hard, the infrastructure is nowhere near what people are enjoying in Europe and the US and that’s also when it comes to bandwidth and the rest. It’s the ease of doing business so the ease of entrepreneurs being able to get something off the ground, the power and the roads,” Jones said.
“Many people, if they come home knowing that those are going to be obstacles, they come home with a much more realistic picture. It’s a trade-off to return but the trade-off is worth it.”