The cultural diversity, languages, and abundant resources make Africa a continent of opportunities. These features also make it a breeding ground for several business industries. Although there are vast opportunities for its indigenes, one of the greatest dilemmas that African American’s or Africans in the diaspora face, when they think about returning, is career choice.
Even with the pool of job and career opportunities, Africans in the diaspora or African American returnees may find it difficult. Ideally, the goal is to make the right career choice and build a good life for themselves. Interestingly, several returnees have gone ahead to build a successful career for themselves. There are various factors to consider as a returnee seeking to build your career or business in Africa. Some of these factors include your qualifications, reasons, and objectives for return, ability to re-adapt, and many more.
For those still struggling to make up their mind, we have put together a list of career choices you can start in Africa. Our list is just as diverse as the African society. This was deliberate to make sure that irrespective of your musings, you will definitely find one that resonates with you.
The agricultural sector contributes a large percentage to Africa’s economic sector. It accounts for over 15% of Africa’s GDP. Given the role of this sector as a key driver in the continent’s economic growth, it offers some of the high-demand career choices in Africa. To stand out in this field, you will require a degree in Agriculture or related courses. Acquiring skills in agricultural sales, farming journalism, food production, commercial research, among others will be an added advantage. Some highly marketable career choices in agriculture include Agricultural engineering, veterinary medicine, and agricultural management.
#2 Information and Communication Technology
The technological and digital sector is rapidly evolving globally. Africa is experiencing massive growth in information technology too. Like agriculture, this sector is a major contributor to economic advancement in African countries. To pursue a career choice in information and communication technology, you will need to study one of the following; physics, computer science, maths, data analysis, app, web development, or software development. The specific skills will be dependent on what interests you the most. Some of the high paying career choices in this sector include technical and business architecture. Also, business and data analysts, web designers and developers, and software developers pay well.
Mining activities are crucial to West African economic growth and development. The sector is set to experience ample growth as the continent increases the supply of its natural resources. Gold, diamond, cobalt, uranium, petroleum, iron, silver, bauxite, and copper are the primary mined resources. About 14 African countries are oil producers. Generally, mining is a huge source of foreign exchange for many African countries.
This sector provides career opportunities for scientists, geologists, engineers, drillers, surveyors, human resources managers, power plant operators, and many others. Amongst this, some of the highest paying jobs returnees can explore are mining engineers and geophysicists.
#4 Service Sector
In recent years, the service sector has experienced progressive growth and development. With the African consumer base experiencing a steady increase, the ICT and retail services are seeing a boom in demand. Returnees with interest in the service sector will require skills in economics, brand management and marketing, business management, accounting, and retail management. A career choice in this sector goes beyond being a cashier but involves several high paying job opportunities. These include human resources, brand managers, financial managers, merchandising planners, and buyers.
#5 Banking and Finance
The African banking and finance industry has experienced significant growth over the years. Between 2012 and 2017, the banking revenue in Africa grew by 11 percent. This is due to increasing literacy and acceptance of banking platforms by more Africans. For this reason, this sector will continue to provide outstanding career opportunities to job seekers. The banking and finance sector is a broad one consisting of about six fields. These are insurance, banking, finance, financial advisory, financial management, and stock brokering and asset management.
However, regardless of the field returnees intend to work with, a degree in accounting or actuarial economics or sciences is necessary. In this field, high-in-demand career choices include actuaries, chartered accountants, risk managers, and investment bankers, and auditors.
Over the years, Africa’s entertainment industry has taken the attention of the world. Several entertainers and creatives have brought their works to the center of the global entertainment industry. For instance, according to the UN’s Africa Renewal Online, Nollywood has made massive progress in the entertainment industry. The film industry releases over 50 movies per week and generates an annual income of about $590 million, surpassing Bollywood and Hollywood.
Returnees who happen to be creatives and have a passion for giving life to imaginations can take up the various career choices in entertainment. To be a part of this industry, you will require a degree in sound engineering, journalism, linguistics, dramatic arts, fine arts, and film production alongside a knack for creativity.
Entrepreneurs and innovators are taking Africa to a whole new height. Their disruptive products are providing job opportunities for several individuals in Africa and beyond. According to a study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of people participating in early-stage entrepreneurship. Although starting a business in Africa isn’t always rosy, it is a career path to explore if you have a knack for business. However, to begin your entrepreneurship journey, you will require a degree in business accounting, accounting, or economics to help you to smoothly sail through.
#8 Transportation and Logistics
A combination of rising population and a boom in the e-commerce industry is creating a market for transportation, logistics, and warehousing. Although some work still needs to be done on the roads, railways and port stations, this sector remains a promising one. The logistics sector is also set to become one of the key economic drivers in years to come. As a returnee who intends to work with this sector, you do not require a specific degree in any course. However, some basic knowledge or skills in construction, logistic engineering, architecture, and town planning may come in handy. Some of the high paying job opportunities in this field include logistic managers, supply chain consultants, and truck driver.
Tourism is taking a front seat among the booming sectors in Africa, contributing about 8.5% of the continent’s GDP. Since Africa is considered a home of hidden treasures and untapped mysteries, curious travelers tend to pick an interest in this continent. Also, the leaders of various African countries are deliberately investing in tourism thereby making their countries more attractive to avid travelers. Returnees who would like to explore career choices in this sector will require specialized tourism and hospitality management programs. High- marketable career choices in this field include hotel managers, executive chefs, and event coordinators.
Photo by Bidvine from PexelsDue to the high urbanization rate in Africa, there is a high demand for infrastructural development. Also, to enhance productivity in different industries across the continent, there is a need to improve their infrastructures. Infrastructures in every industry need to be duly improved upon to enhance their productivity. Thus, there is an opportunity for returnees to take advantage of the creation of renewable solar and wind energy and its accompanying potentials in North Africa.
To work in this sector, returnees will require courses such as engineering, town planning, architecture, technology, construction, and business. Some of the most marketable career choices for returnees in this sector include structural engineering, technical and business architects, and actuaries. To successfully build a career in this sector, you will require a bachelor’s degree in either of the related courses.
The reality of returning to Africa never really sets in until you are in Africa. Finding the right career choice may not be easy because of the different operating systems, beliefs, and other environmental and governance factors. However, it is possible to grow your career once you can identify the right places to channel your efforts. Are you an African returnee or dreaming to return to the continent? Tell us some of your challenges in the comment box below. We read every comment.