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AfricaRecruit HR Newsletter 
Published By AfricaRecruit HR Club             April, 2005  |  Vol. 1 Issue 2
Special Interest Article:
 Key role in capacity building in Africa.| Feedback from African Union and UK parliament| Courses and Events | 
 Individual Highlights:
Recommended courses and Training Events | Up coming Events and Seminars |Comparative Salary Survey

We would like to welcome you to the second edition AfricaRecruit HR Newsletter, which is wholly devoted to the recent “Human Resources Exchange Seminar” held in March in London, United Kingdom.

 The main objectives of the seminar was to provide policy makers, employers, recruitment consultants, candidates and all stakeholders in human capacity building in Africa with an environment where it “easy to talk and be listened to”.

In this edition, we have attempted to give you a brief overview of the issues; challenges and resolution discussed which could be adapted at implementation levels in your various HR departments.

Whilst the emphasis was on human resources professionals and highly qualified candidates in the Diaspora, there was another dimension to the seminar which was the synergy between skills and the development of the continent of Africa, hence the keynote presentations from such global leaders as Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu, current chairman of the New Partnership for African's Development (NEPAD), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur of African Business Roundtable (ABR) and Rev Jesse Jackson, the renown civil rights leader and founder of the PUSH Rainbow coalition, to name but a few.

AfricaRecruit was invited to give a presentation at the 3rd Ordinary session of the Labour and Social Affairs Commission of the African Union 18-23rd April 2005 South Africa a brief feedback on this as well as AfricaRecruit presentation/submission to Africa All Parliamentary Group will be provided in this article linking Human Resources to Policy and Africa’s development.

Enjoy the rest of the article and in the usual AfricaRecruit culture of engagement we welcome your feedback on any of the issues raised in this article that can be sent to us at

 Modupe Akidele-AfricaRecruit Team

sponsored by Oracle Corporation


Rev Jesse Jackson        Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu   Alhaji Bamanga Tukur  

Human Resources Professionals -key role in capacity building in Africa.

 "The key message is that the shortages of skills is the greatest threat to Africa’s renewal. Africa will not achieve the MDGs and sustainable development unless the skills shortage is addressed, the brain drain reversed and Africa’s ability to retain skilled personnel improved”


Keynote address by Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairman, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Steering Committee

Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the current chair of the African Business Roundtable in his speech at the House of Commons, has suggested that African countries need to develop concrete strategies in order to "enhance the synergy between skills and economic policy, link skills strategy with trade and industry and provide opportunities for innovation". It is therefore imperative that policy makers put in place strategies that promote long-term skills development programmes as well as build solid economic reform plans to attract and retain not only foreign investment but its citizens across the world and those at home. Special attention should be given to investing in human resources, in developing them and efficiently using them as a basis for the consolidation of empowerment and accountability for the achievement of social progress and democracy.

Time and time again the message from African leaders is loud and strong and it's simple: we need skilled people to take our continents forward.  This was the main theme of the seminar held for a strategic and high level networking session with a highly qualified and experienced pool of the Diaspora.  This call for skilled members of the Diaspora to return to the continent can not be done in isolation but requires a strong collaboration with human resources professionals. In other words without human resources intervention there would be no skilled work force in Africa.              

This theory is expounded deeper by this simple analogy, i.e all recruitment process starts with the identification of skills shortages at a micro - level, after which an awareness campaign must be embarked upon, informing a wider audience that that need presently exists in the organisation. The person responsible for identifying skills gap is usually the best person to assess the type of skill needed to fill that gap.

The role of human resources professional in highlighting this need cannot therefore be overemphasised and they need to be recognised as being at the fore- front of the war against the loss and lack of skills in Africa today. However their job does not end there, in any organisation, human resources plays a pivotal role in translating the objectives of the organisation into reality through a careful process of selecting the right people who can deliver on those objectives.

Consequently, human resources professionals especially those in Africa have a daunting task ahead of them, but all is not lost as their concerns about lack of skills is being heralded on a much larger platform by policy makers who are able to positively influence this negative trend. The implication is simple employing the right or wrong person is the responsibility for human resources professionals for which there are serious implications either for good or bad.

What role can Human resources play in order to partner with the policy makers in attracting these skills from the Diaspora?

 q       Define job specification and person specification, to identify training needs so that area of greatest needs is adequately addressed.

q       Human resource professionals need to form alliances amongst themselves and also work closely with Universities in other to ensure that training and curriculum being taught is relevant to those needs.

q       Create an awareness that there is a skills gap through advertisements which has the ability to attract the right candidate for the job, especially in the Diaspora.  It is crucial that the platform with the greatest access to Diaspora skills be identified as the tool of implementing this objective.

q       Human resources policies would need to radical in dealing with these skills shortages in the development of Africa, recruitment drive should be adequately pursued amongst the Diaspora and retention and integration strategy of these skills should be developed and implemented.

q       Attractive remuneration packages must be balanced against the need for the skill in the organisation and should not addressed in isolation. Other benefits may be highlighted instead of monetary rewards.


Ultimately to summarise the speech of Professor Wiseman Nkulu of the NEPAD, the successful implementation of the policies mapped out in the Commission for Africa report is dependent on the availability of skills.  The ball is now in your court………….

We at AfricaRecruit would like to encourage a strong participation from HR professionals on successful and failed strategy of recruitment drive to engage the Diaspora including lessons learnt. We aim to keep this debate going for a while and this would feature as a case study scenario in future publications. We would endeavour to publish these articles as long as you keep them coming.  Please send the completed article to  


sponsored by Oracle Corporation

Why Human Resources matter in Africa today and the role of the African Diaspora

“The success of the African renaissance in repositioning our part of the world depends upon economic patriotism.” Tokyo Sexwale, Chairman, Mvelaphanda Holdings Ltd.  South Africa’s Black Businessman of the Year 2004 award winner

February 2005.

Case studies from organisations who have adopted a recruitment policy in attracting skills in the Diaspora:

A) Private Sector perspective  - A multinational operational in over 15 countries in Africa shared their experience at the conference of engaging with the Diaspora.

Major challenges:

q       Perceived risk involved in moving back to Africa

q       Limitations in term of regulations prohibiting free movement of labour within Africa with the exception of ECOWAS nationals.

q       Difficult to compete with competitive global offers

q       Are companies focusing on closing the short term skills gap as opposed to providing long term career commitments? What perception is being created for the Diaspora?

q       Language barriers within the region creates a problem for the employers in terms of placements of candidates

 Successful recruitment of the Diaspora was based on the 4 S's agenda

q       Strategy - Organisational policy in place to increase the work force to reflect the African content and a long term strategy on the integration of members of the Diaspora to fill skills gap within the region.

q       System - A system was put in place within the organisation with a strong target and  key deliverables set with dates by which it was to be achieved communicated to all players within the organisation

q       Sell - Once all the implementation team had been briefed on strategy and the systems and targets were understood, the team carried the message to the Diaspora and sold the theme to them by highlighting some of the benefits of their returning home to Africa. Some of the practical steps taken to attract Diaspora skills are listed below:

1. A transparent, fair and speedy recruitment process

2. Social implications of returning home to rebuild their continent through the use of their expertise brings satisfactions which can not be quantified by financial rewards was strongly highlighted

3. Successful recruits were evangelists for the new converts in the Diaspora through the process of story telling "been there…worn the t-shit"

4. Market research was conducted and long and short-term recruitment strategy was built on the back of this.

 q       Support - A system of after care service has also been put in place to offer support where possible to members of the Diaspora who have been integrated into the organisation. Some of the support provided are highlighted below:

1.      Human Resources personnel were given adequate training to deal with specific Diaspora needs.

2.      Flexibility of location

3.      Offering support through building network within the organisation with other members of the Diaspora

4.      Attractive training packages and availability of secondment postings are available so that they do not feel that they are missing out on a global career opportunity by working in Africa.


B) Public Sector Perspective - A multilateral agency based in Africa

Major challenges of recruiting from the Diaspora

q       Low response rate by the Diaspora to advertisements

q       Disparity of Diaspora groups thereby resulting in fragmented views

q       Regulatory policies relating to movement of labour is a constrain

q       Lack of knowledge on how to gain access to the skills in the Diaspora


 q       Long and short term strategy on recruiting from the Diaspora

q       Working in partnership with NEPAD through adaptation of her policies to mirror a united stance on strategy

q       Building strategic alliances with the western donors in other to complement their efforts

q       Research and Development efforts through think tanks agencies


Outcomes from the Human Resources sharing/Exchange seminar - March 2005

Key Recommendations

q       Skills development

q       Encouragement of new graduates in the Diaspora through creation of internship opportunities

q       Lobbying to challenge laws so that social and work related benefits are protected even if an individual takes time out to volunteer abroad

q       Encourage organisations to invest in graduate training programs that lead to managerial/senior roles in organisations in order to retain talent.

q       NEPAD initiative to be owned more by Africans

q       Long-term solutions to engaging with the Diaspora should be pursued instead of short-term ones.

Full and detailed report would be available online at: Report pages from the 31st July 2005.

AfricaRecruit at African Union and UK Parliament

The increasing role of Human Resource development in the overall and sustainable development of Africa has ensured that human resources has moved up the agenda of political leaders inside and outside Africa. It is against this background that AfricaRecruit held the opening ceremony of its March event “Human Resource Sharing/Exchange Seminar- Engaging with the African Diaspora” was held in the House of Commons United Kingdom and was opened by Baroness Lynda Chalker with attendance from members of parliament and House of Lords and a brief speech from Richard Dowden the Director of the Royal African Society who all emphasized the importance of AfricaRecruit.

AfricaRecruit was invited to present at the 3rd Ordinary session of the Labour and Social Affairs Commission of the African Union 18-23rd April 2005 South Africa. In ensuing discussions, delegates stressed the importance of AfricaRecruit participating in the African Union process as well as formal endorsement of the initiative by policy organs of the African Union. The experts meeting recommended AfricaRecruit to extend its activities to all regions of the continent.

AfricaRecruit was invited to give a submission to Africa All Parliamentary Group as part of its input into the Commission for Africa as well as its report “The UK Government and Africa in 2005: How joined up is Whitehall?” March 2005. The report highlighted the importance of human resources being key to Africa’s development. 

The Commission for Africa recommends that the international community invest $500 million a year in revitalizing higher education in Africa over 10 years.

The Africa All Parliamentary Group also recommended that:

  • The UK should provide assistance to Ministries of Education and Health in African countries with human resources shortages, particularly in terms of expertise and sharing of experience and best practice in recruitment, training and retention of staff and management of human resources

  • The UK should work with African countries to examine the impact in terms of manpower and costs, of recruitment of African professionals for each country and analyze how assistance can be targeted to mitigate the impacts

  • The UK should assist those who wish to return to their countries of origin in the health sector through funding a golden hello again scheme in partnership with Departments of health in key countries.

sponsored by Oracle Corporation

Courses and Training
Details of the courses below can be viewed at IQPC website

 Short Course - Effective Team Leader Skills
An Intensive and Practical, 2-Day Management & Leadership Course
June 20 - 21, 2005Grand Palm Hotel Casino ResortGaborone, Botswana

 Short Course - Effective Team Leader Skills
An Intensive and Practical, 2-Day Management & Leadership Course
August 25 - 26, 2005Grand Palm Hotel Casino ResortGaborone, Botswana

 Management and Leadership Development for Women
June 28 - 29, 2005Windhoek Country ClubWindhoek, Namibia

 Short Course - Emotional Intelligence – The EQ Leadership Roadmap
An Intensive And Practical, 2-Day Leadership Course
May 30 - 31, 2005Glenhove ConferencingHoughton, Gauteng, South Africa

 Designing and Implementing The Balanced Scorecard
June 8 - 9, 2005Glenhove ConferencingHoughton, Gauteng, South Africa

 Short Course - Effective Fatigue Management
for Optimising Shiftwork and Rostering in the Workplace
June 13 - 14, 2005Glenhove ConferencingHoughton, Gauteng, South Africa

 Short Course - How to Conduct Effective Disciplinary Hearings in the Workplace
Master the practical skills to manage your disciplinary processes with confidence
July 18 - 19, 2005Glenhove ConferencingHoughton, Gauteng, South Africa

 Short Course - Best Practice HR Audit Techniques
An Intensive and Practical, 2-Day HR Management Course
July 18 - 19, 2005Glenhove ConferencingHoughton, Gauteng, South Africa

 Short Course - Competency Based Behavioural Interviewing
The Cost Of Employing The Wrong Person Is Astronomical. Get The Right Person For The Job The First Time Around!
July 19 - 20, 2005Glenhove ConferencingHoughton, Gauteng, South Africa



This is a gentle reminder to all those who have not completed the Salary Survey to kindly do so as the feedback will be of value to all Human Resources in benchmarking their organisations salary structure and gain valuable insight to their positioning against other organisations.

Upcoming Events and Seminars …

Sierra Leone Diaspora Consultative and Investment Forum,
London, UK 4th June 2005

Further Details

Africa Diaspora Investment Week London United Kingdom 12-17th September 2005
London United Kingdom March 2005
Further details or
Cameroon Career Day 2005- - Recruitment and Career Forum
Yaounde Cameroon December 2005 (tbc)
Nigeria Career Day 2005- - Recruitment and Career Forum
Lagos Nigeria December 2005 (tbc)


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