One element of the urban landscape in Africa that’s fast evolving is advertisements (not so much the infrastructure, but that’s another debate). As huge billboards – ever bigger, more flashy, more present, more inevitable – accompany me across my field research, a question becomes inevitable: how representative of the reality are they? How in-sync with fast changing lifestyles are they?
So let’s look for an answer when it comes to the hyper-connected, active, urban young woman. Both pictures in this short piece are situations in the Congo region (two countries), one is a billboard in a main avenue in DR Congo, the other shows an entrepreneur at a conference in Congo Brazzaville.
Do you have international experience?
Increasingly, what those making a decision on your job-, grant- or funding application mean with this question is whether you have created tangible value during substantial professional time abroad and connected with people whose backgrounds and opinions differ wildly from your own. Adaptability, agility, problem-solving, resilience are highly demanded abilities by companies willing to compete and win in a uncertain, globalised, complex world.
But it has become extremely difficult for professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders to acquire or sharpen these qualities in post industrial, highly sophisticated, well oiled environments.
Consequently, just like elite athletes go to Kenyan hills to train with and learn from the world’s best runners, a growing number of professionals and entrepreneurs look at Africa as a key passage to join what a Harvard Business Review article calls the “global elite”.
Indeed, business-, career-, and learning opportunities in Africa have never been greater. But to materialize them, global professionals first need to ask themselves some hard questions.
Continue the reading of my new article here.