YM’s MT & R: “SO YOU WANT TO MOVE BACK”?

Hello people..I haven’t had a YM’s MT & R post in a while..So there is my musing, rant & thought for this week..What will it take to start a “Moving Back” to Camer movement? So you want to Move Back

First off..Can I say we should try to promote some good about pays?? Camers are very good at criticizing anything about Cameroon..Case in point..I am not going home in December because of Ebola..Cameroon was never on the “Ebola Map” to begin with.

Inspired by this article on Bella Naija with a recap and pictures of the recent.  “Moving Back To Nigeria Annual Networking Night”

As someone who has lived full circle, I can very much appreciate why people are “scared” of moving back but also know that some of  those who are up to the challenge  & ready to deal with the limitations are smiling to the bank.

So you want move back to Cameroon (or Africa)??

Understand the local market
Anything thing needs planning and research. Follow news especially business news to understand the local market and how/where/when your skills and investments will fit in. Things are happening in the different sectors in Cameroon…Be it Agriculture, Real Estate, changing policies, Finance, Mining, Oil & Gas etc..Follow the news. It will be great to read something like “A group of Germany based Cameroonians have received a license to open a factory in Limbe”…Anyhow..Just TOL (Thinking out Loud). If you want to get a job in Nigeria..Follow Naija news..Stalk all the job boards with Jobs in Nigeria..You get the drift!! Check out Business In Cameroon

Calibrate Your  Expectations. 
So the internet is not as fast as you would like it to be..Kini big deal?? lol. And oh reminder, there is no “Yelp” or GPS to locate your best “Chinese” restaurant..Go ask your friend oh. haha. Those are some of the challenges one has to adapt to. The lack of readily available information and reliable logistics system are some of the limitations which I chose to see as opportunities. The good news? The internet is bridging the information gap. More and more businesses have an online presence and “word” of mouth is easier via platforms, blogs etc. Word to the wise: “Be ready to adapt & calibrate your expectations” 

Appreciate Your Exposure
A friend of mine who is based in Camer keeps repeating it. We take our exposure for granted. There are many people who do not know better. So sometimes just give people the benefit of the doubt and educate/inform. 



Networking & building stronger diaspora communities
Network, Network and Network again. Being away from home means you lost touch with your friends and family…”If you want set up for pays…Start go back often ya”..I can’t say that enough!You have to be there to “reconnect”. I am happy to see more and more networking events in Cameroon. E.g. “Ladies After Work”, “Soirees Leadership“. 

Building effective and stronger diaspora communities can only help to bridge the gap  between the Diaspora & home based professionals. I find that a lot of our organizations abroad are too focused on what can be done in Cameroon and forget about what can be done to improve the community as a whole in the countries where they live. I think stronger  diaspora communities have a better and more effective impact in their countries. More events need to be organized with participation of people both at home and abroad. 

I was involved in organizing a bloggers networking event in December with the goal of promoting effective collaboration between bloggers and entrepreneurs. The team of organizers was made up of bloggers and entrepreneurs at home and  abroad. It was a great but challenging experience as I got to see and experience first hand some of the challenges which returnees face all the time.  Check out more on us and our activities here

Creating And/or applying “Local Content Laws”
I don’t know much about laws and policies in Cameroon..So someone tell me if I am wrong. Is there a “Local Content Law”?? Having lived and worked in Nigeria, I can say that “Building Local Content” is a must for any country who wants to attract and encourage local businesses. Having Local content laws “forces” knowledge and technology transfer, ensures partnerships between international and local companies, promotes the use of local talent and expertise…. just to name a few…Get an insight on Local content here. Another article in the image below. ” Oil & Gas Affirmation Action: Making Local Content Everyone’s Responsibility” 

Spread good cheers by sharing Success stories.
Can we start trending more good stories?? There are many people at home who never left and are making it.I have to share this one. Please check out Spectra Beauty. I loved my experience there and I was even more impressed when I heard it was started by someone with a very humble beginnings and now is on his way to building an empire. Thumbs up to Valery & his team…

Then…There are those who moved back and navigated their way through the challenges. Check out an article of  “The Returnees” on the “De Braun’s Hill“..A series highlighting returnees!!

Check out this video from France 24

To wrap up… Moving back is not as bad  but not a piece of cake either..To be good at what you do regardless whether you are a bushfaller, returnee, home and never left etc. You have to put in the time and work to make things work. Keep an open mind and be ready to adapt!!  Hope the post helps to kick start the “Moving Back Movement” on my blog. Stayed tuned for more updates.

What do you think can be done to encourage people to move back home? If you could change just one thing, what will it be? The one thing that will make you back your bags and head back to the darling continent!!

Y.M
IRepCamer

Author: IRepCamer

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22 Comments

  1. They are not visiting Camer in Dec becos of Ebola? na wa oh..since when that disease enter camer weh i no hear..camer pple r really lost

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    • You will be surprised..I know a few people who cancelled their flights because of Ebola..and ended up not travelling since they couldn't get new tickets because of price and/or availability..Beats Moi..Smh!!

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  2. The returnees series is coming back in February.

    I dont care where you come back to..Cameroon? Nigeria? Ghana? CIV? SA? EQ. GUINEA? Just come back. And like you said..people need to bw flexible. Your foreign certificate wont count for much if you have zero adaptability. Take it from someone who moved from China to Nigeria….two crazy places to ever want to be in. I credit my auccessful transition fo being open to change..adaptability to constant change..sheer love for adventure and places where shit dont work-so I can try to fix it..and finally my zeal to become relevant to my people. If you cant adapt to change…start learninng

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    • Word..Adaptability!! I almost lost it when I moved back from Canada to Nigeria..Everyone thought I was crazy but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made..Kudos to you Braun, e no easy to be a globetrotter..lol. ! Being Adaptable comes with having an open mind!

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  3. Yefon you bring up some very interesting points here. It did take me a while to get my ticket to Cameroon as I was also under the "lets watch out for Ebola" mindset but then I later said to myself "Cameroon isn't even one of the countries with Ebola so why wont I go" and then I bought my ticket but I felt bad for even hesitating! Anyhow, I love the points you made about networking and appreciating your exposure. VERY Important in the Camer society! At the end of the day Cameroon is what most people call home! So we all need to have an open mind about moving back some day…

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    • We need to network more..Period..Effective networking not because we went to the same school or same tribe type networks all the time..you know what I mean!!At the end of the day..Home is home!!

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  4. Networking is the first step, Cameroonians just have to develop the attitude of appreciating their roots.
    Network more, after all your network defines your net worth

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    • Yes Jennifer..Networking is one of the buzz words!!

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  5. Hahahaha! For real network is the key.Lol…"not because we went to the same school or same tribe type of networks all the time. "This got me laughing…A typical Cameroonian way of thinking. While I was on vacation in Cameroon last December, I had the opportunity to attend a barbeque come together organized by the minister of mining and power in Yaoundé. The minister said, he decided to do a barbeque and invite young people because he wanted them to network with some of his colleague and get to know some people who may be of help to them; and he mentioned that Cameroonians always think those them in the ministry are very difficult to get hold of , whereas people don't know where to go and who to meet.Until I got home last December before I started understanding some basic things about Cameroon. Yes Cameroon is corrupt but there are plenty of opportunities there. We are so negative that we don't see the positive side of things…Plus Cameroonians don't know how to market themselves. Lots of time we just conclude on things base on " a hear say" kind of story. Is so sad because even when you tell people you want to move back home, they start acting like you're about to commit suicide. Like you mentioned above, we have to be open minded.

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    • hahaha Mimi I lie? That is why I don't do conventions..Sorry!! Word..Camers we don't know how to market ourselves is a big issue which affects everything from the young professional to the small business to the big government organizations..You cannot understand the Cameroon if you don't go back..Or else it is just all this "bad belle" talk. One has to be have an open mind!!

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  6. To me am already doing it bringing jobs to the people , coaching people to be able to attend interviews and i am helping UK graduates living in Cameroon to network and benefits from job opportunities through the UK Alumni net work. Now if Cameroonians wish to look for jobs back at home its simple visit Careersandjobs4u on facebook. That said Cameroonians should start thinking investment and entreprenurship and not just jobs. let Cameroonians come up with projects and invest in cameroon (depsite the hurdles) that way the country grows jobs are created and we can be on the verge of becoming a developing country. we will NOT kill the over 60s, even if regime doesn't change we can be the change we want to see by doing the little things that can help a brother or a sister return back home. lets make use of our exposure simple
    4 hrs · Like

    https://www.facebook.com/careersjobs4u, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1423801817836941/

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    • Vena,Word at "Cameroonian should start thinking at investment and entrepreneurship and not just jobs". I guess it stems from upbringing and education..You go to school, get a job..before it was get a job in the government..With more awareness and education there will be a mindset change..Let's make sure our exposure indeed!I agree you don't just wake up and move back..It is all about planning!

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  7. Great article Yef, very informative & I'm paying attention to the constructive comments as well. One thing that struck me as important as well is our perception of each other, are we accepting of each other as people from the same country who just happened to take different paths, (some stayed back either by choice or couldn't travel for many reasons, and also, the demographic (diaspora people who traveled & want to come back or don't want or can't come back for many reasons.)

    I have found it hard to accept the unnecessary (although valid) criticisms that either generalize the state of mind of the Diaspora people or that if those in Camer. It creates distrust & antagonism which is detrimental to the process of establishing good business relationships. Let's start talking a language of acceptance that draws into rather than rejects
    Mah

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    • Thank Mah..You mention an important point..People have perceptions about each other..and the sooner we remove them from our heads, the better for us all.People with different experiences working on initiative/projects make it even more beneficial because of what we can learn from each other. And btw, people have been moving back for a while..especially francophones who are now very bilingual. Na we di "fear" for move back oh..lol. Word at break the unnecessary criticisms!

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  8. Great article Top Notch Blog keep being awesome – we will get there because of people like you 🙂

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  9. "What do you think can be done to encourage people to move back home? If you could change just one thing, what will it be?" Great questions IRepCamer!

    Looking at it all from the Gladiators' point of view: Most of our clients have mentioned the MEDICAL/HEALTH system in their home countries which scare them. The stories are somewhat "scandalous"… Considering the fact that you seem to have experienced both worlds (and hoping we didn't miss the mention of this in the article); what do you advise?

    Love,
    Olivia Pope

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    • Hi "Olivia Pope"…Lol..You can say that again about the health care system…That is why I would love having access to the west to enjoy some of these facilities..until we can get our act together..I am already preparing for move back round #2..Why? Because there are opportunities and I want to be part of the change I want to see..If we all keep living in the west and complain about Africa, who will change it? I started my career in Nigeria and I felt like packing my bags many times but that experience shaped my career and what it has become today..You become adaptable by hook or crook and start thinking outside the box to solve problems. If you like adventure and challenge, move back and keep your network in and access to the west!!

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  10. Great post grand souer!!
    I don't know why people are so reluctant anyway, some how returnees are always treated better (at least in Cameroon) than the citizens who stayed.

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    • Thanks Monique..fear of the unknown is part human nature i guess…good to know!

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