My sincere apologies for the major lapse in blog entries!!! Ever since I returned from my beloved Cameroon, the number of events, projects, and personal initiatives on my plate have been dizzying.
Therefore, I promise to do better in the weeks and months to come.
On Saturday, I attended the Africa-America Institute's (AAI) #TalentSummit, where featured guests and panelists discussed the ever-growing opportunities at home.
And the event was both refreshing and fascinating.
Refreshing because both the panelists and attendees were made up of young professionals who are either already back home putting their passion where their hearts are or they are looking for tangible ways to be able to do so in the near future.
Fascinating because it is almost emotional for me to see how focused and excited my generation and younger are about Africa. After many of us have seen our parents, aunts, and uncles give other nations their talents and gifts, it is damn-near revolutionary to witness and be a part of the exodus going home!
At the #TalentSummit, I attended two panels. The first, "Not Your Father's Africa: An Inside Look at Technology and Innovation," ran the gamut of how Africans are employing and inventing technology to solve their own problems.
The fabulous and talented Sandra Babu-Boateng of Face2Face Africa moderated that panel.
One of the highlights of the discussion involved explaining how Mothers and youth are using social media to empower themselves with the promotion of personal causes. This has effectively given the formerly voiceless a number of platforms to garner the attention they deserve.
The #234girls of Nigeria are a prime example of this; their mass abduction threatened to fly under the radar if it weren't for concerned families, citizens, and diasporans forcing both the government and media to answer for their dissapearance through online interviews, Facebook pages such as 200 Roses Ng, and viral Twitter campaigns like #BringThemHome.
"The Continental Career Change: A Conversation with Expatriates and Repatriates" was the second panel I attended that provided pertinent insight in to what it is really like to return home and either join the workforce or enter the private sector through entrepreneurship.
For example, Pape Misse, senior manager of Deloitte and Touche, has been stationed in his homeland of Senegal for his company. Like many other companies who are aware of the very real, lucrative opportunities in Africa, he said that it was imperative for his company to open offices in Ghana and Nigeria, for example, if they wanted to remain competitive.
The panel also gave tangible tips on how to manage strained relationships that often arise between Africas and Repatriates due to competition, arrogance, and differences in business culture.
Overall, the panels and topics had a wealth of information on repatriation and understanding the rapid pace of growth and innovation at home.
President and CEO of AAI Amini Kajunju, who also served as the panel's moderator, later remarked to me, "As Africans in the diaspora, we must learn to work with our African colleagues on the ground toward a common and prosperous future."
Enjoy the pics from the event below!
Sandra Babu-Boateng and me
Amini Kajunju of AAI
Gina Nabeta, my cuz!