The Back to Africa Series is a series of blogs where I discuss my experience repatriating to Africa and share interesting findings about the continent.
While settling back in the motherland, there are some fascinating facts that become apparent which are not often told outside the continent. I thought I would share 7 things I have found interesting about Africa:
- Over 1 million Chinese citizens live in Africa, with Angola hosting a population of over 350,000 Chinese. Many Chinese citizens have relocated to Africa following the construction and infrastructure boom in many African countries
- Most African citizens speak more than one language so if you don’t speak English, Igbo or Kiswahili, parlez-vous français? English however is the most widely spoken language on the African continent; over 700 million people speak it.
- African diaspora send more money home than is received from foreign aid. If you take Africa as a whole, the remittances income from the diaspora, 62 billion USD, is greater even than the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), 55 billion USD, and total foreign aid, just over 50 billion USD.
- For many the quality of life is much better in Africa than abroad. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a nice house, car and help in the home. In fact, it is the norm for those living in cities to employ an assistant in the home which is something quite exclusive in first world countries.
- Mobile money is a technology that is rapidly disrupting the way business is done in Africa. In Kenya, you can make payments at most establishments, businesses, hotels and even to street vendors using mobile money. Who needs credit cards and a wallet when they have a mobile phone!
- Africa has some beautiful architecture aside from the Pyramids.
- Africans are becoming more adventurous with their investments and branching out from the traditional real estate and stock market investments. REITS are increasingly being adopted in Africa as an alternative investment vehicle for individuals. REIT legislation has been adopted in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana. Aside from REITS African investors are investing increasingly forex, bonds and funds.
There are many untold stories about Africa, and therefore shedding some light on some of these is crucial in order to show the progress Africa is making in its growth journey.