14 August 2015

Africa: Mbeki to Reach Out to African Diaspora

It is believed that Africa's brain gain is an important step to achieving an African renaissance and there is no bigger supporter of this notion than former South African president, Thabo Mbeki.

Mbeki will be the keynote speaker at Speed Meet Jozi, which will bring together influential professionals and entrepreneurs from across Africa.

The event, hosted by brain gain company Homecoming Revolution in association with Brand South Africa, takes place on Friday, 14 August at the Hilton Sandton. It is a prelude to Homecoming's Speed Meet New York that will be held on 24 September.

"Bringing Africa's diaspora home is a critical part of achieving the vision of an African renaissance," says Max Boqwana, the chief executive of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation. "We are proud to be associated with Homecoming Revolution and share their vision of getting the continent's brightest sons and daughters home."

Another highlight of the event will be the release of the Homecoming Insights 2015 report. The report examines a broad range of issues including the core reasons why people move abroad, the key trigger factors that encourage people to return home, what people miss most and least about home and what links people still retain with their home countries.

Angel Jones, chief executive of Homecoming Revolution, says the report offers an exciting snapshot of African immigration patterns and yielded surprising results. "Our survey has yielded some invaluable insights on both Africans in the diaspora and returnees. The results offer fantastic snippets into thoughts of both these groups and has provided us with an accurate snapshot of how strong the pull of home remains for so many Africans abroad."

Bringing together movers and shakers

According to Jones, Speed Meet Jozi is a great opportunity for pan-African corporates and captains of industry, ambassadors, diaspora professionals and other "homecomers" to meet and discuss the brain gain issue.

"The speed networking format enables African movers and shakers from all corners of the continent to meet in an interactive and relaxed setting. Homecoming Revolution shares Mr Mbeki's vision of an African Renaissance and aims to fulfil that goal by connecting influential Africans across many different borders."

Brand South Africa's acting chief marketing officer, Sithembile Ntombela, says that "those who want to play their part and contribute to our country and continent's growth and development are enabled to do so".

Other guests include singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Mail & Guardian owner Trevor Ncube, and Nigerian television presenter and writer Moky Makura.

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