|Africa. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1890|
Public Domain Image
Today, aside from some opportunities in Nigeria and South Africa, there doesn't appear to be much of a way to find permanent work in Africa aside from limited opportunities with NGOs. Believe it or not, some people would like to immigrate to Africa but African countries make this very hard to do.
For Europe, the European Blue Card is designed to be a single immigration device for those EEA countries which have signed on, but many lesser-developed nations, particularly in Africa, have complained bitterly about "brain drain" to Europe. This is not a spurious complaint. As I've written before, more than a quarter of highly skilled workers from many African nations have left for more developed nations. If the US ever fixes their immigration system, it's going to get even worse. If China eases up on their immigration restrictions, more Africans will continue to immigrate to China.
It seems to be largely a one-way street, but while Africa rightly frets about brain drain, they're not doing much to encourage people to come to Africa. The global economic downturn has led to some "brain gain" for Kenya, but largely for returning Africans (as far as I can tell). For others hoping to try a new life in Africa, corruption in the immigration process is quite common. Others have told me stories of African officials simply not knowing the law or not responding. Africa, in short, is letting people out, but not letting people in. Even if they did, the political uncertainties of many countries would be daunting.
|Kigali, the capital of Rwanda|
Photo by Dylan Walters
Imagine moving to Rwanda. Stay there for a couple of years and earn "African residency". From there, if the economy floundered or it became politically unstable, you could then move to another participating country, such as Namibia.
Not only could this potentially bring much needed skills to Africa, the potential economic benefits could help to stabilize countries that have seen much upheaval over the past couple of centuries. It would be an exciting experiment, though clearly there would be many challenges and it would take years to see the benefits. However, instead of the rest of the world traveling to Africa to exploit it, it could be a partnership to help Africa.