Africa increasingly attractive to expats
With seven out of ten of the world’s fastest growing economies it is little wonder that increasing numbers of professionals are choosing Africa as their preferred location of work; a survey by the expat networking website InterNations gives further telling details as to why this is happening.
For its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations interviewed roughly 14,000 expatriates from 165 nationalities and 169 countries of residence, exploring topics such as quality of life, ease of settling in, family life, personal finance and cost of living.
InterNations Nigerian Ambassador Hashim Zein said: “Africa poses very interesting opportunities for expats; there is a dearth of specialised experience due to previous brain drains and the relatively rapid development in the continent.”
Whilst money isn’t everything, it is clear that this must be a deciding factor for professionals looking to move their careers into Africa, since its largest economies contain the highest percentage of expats worldwide that take home salaries of more than $250,000.
Understandably, the top reason for emigrating is finding a new job: in Nigeria, 26 percent of expats said that finding a job there on their own was their primary reason for relocating and 25 percent in Kenya. These proportions are well in excess of the global average of 16 percent.
63 percent of expats moved to Nigeria for career related reasons and 58 percent to Kenya, chiefly being sent by an employer, which is far ahead of the 36 percent global average.
With 12 percent, Nigeria has the highest percentage of expatriate households that fall within the highest income group with more than $250,000 annually. The second African country that finds itself among the top ten in the high income category is Egypt at five percent. The global share of expatriates making that much money abroad is three percent only.
Nigeria is second in the world for overall satisfaction with the personal financial situation, with 78 percent of expats responding positively; 91 percent of those surveyed consider their income at the very least sufficient for daily life.
Expatriates working in Senegal expressed great confidence in their career prospects, with 78 percent responding positively, compared with 58 percent of expats worldwide.
Africa presents professionals with many fantastic opportunities but these do not come without risks; some countries are still plagued by political unrest and violence which means that a foreign company will either have scaled back operations, or remove its presence altogether.
Coupled with increased earning power and the opportunity to experience a variety of new, exciting cultures, the prospect of working in Africa is becoming increasingly practical, not to mention financially rewarding.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.