Reclaiming Your Wakanda: 5 Ways To Move To An African Country
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Tangerine sunsets, bustling innovation, and evening chit chats amidst a cool African breeze. Sound enchanting? You can have all this and more if you move to the African continent.
So grab a pen and paper or open up your Notes app. I'm giving you the inside scoop on how folks are moving to Africa right now!
5 Ways To Move To An African Country
Sick of envying all those #thisisAfrica Instagram pics? Ready to make your Wakanda dreams come true? These days, it's more doable then you think. I know expats who've successfully moved to Africa through the following routes.
Have you always wanted to give back? Does mentoring Black youth hold a special place in your heart? Or, maybe you have a medical background and helping out at a Senegalese maternity ward is right up your alley.
If any of this sounds like you, volunteering in an Africa nation is a great socially responsible “in” into an African nation. From conducting public health outreach to teaching kids how to code, there are tons of ways to do volunteer work in Africa. Plus, some programs even give volunteers a monthly stipend and provide free accommodation. Pro tip: While you’re volunteering, don’t forget to keep an eye out for gigs (in or outside of your program) for after your program has completed.
Volunteer in Africa resources:
Start A Business
Ready to open up shop in an African nation? Put on your entrepreneur's hat and get ready to get to work! You could open up a private school or a chain of daycare centers. Create your own brand of sauces using locally grown herbs. Design Wordpress websites for local businesses (very doable and especially needed many smaller towns across the continent!). Become a consultant and sell or teach your skills. You could even start your own tourism company.
Listen, there are endless business opportunities all around the continent. Wanna get an even deeper look into the boom of African business opportunities? This book is an awesome start. Just remember to keep ethics in mind. There are too many foreign-owned businesses paying Africans peanuts and not investing in their employees' growth.
You will definitely need a business visa or something similar to operate. So, check out the country’s immigration website or reach out to immigration agents for visa requirements. Then hit up the resources below to get started.
Suggested reading: 101 Ways to Do Business in Africa
Web resources: African immigration websites and embassies, immigration agencies, and government investment offices.
Buy Real Estate
Another way to move to Africa is through buying real estate. For example, in Mauritius, you can buy property and gain residency. So, if you’ve got a nice stack of dough saved up, this is a totally viable option. Or, invest in real estate and buy a rental property. Cha ching! Chat with immigration agencies and bureaus, realtors, and other expat owners in your country of choice for advice
African property resources: Search Google and Facebook for phrases like “real estate or property Ghana”. You'll be linked to African real estate agent companies and their social media pages.
Become a Digital Nomad
Gone are the days when 9-5’s were your only professional option! Ready to take control of your professional life and live just about anywhere in the world? Then going the digital nomad route is your winner. With the internet, these jobs allow for location independence and give you a lot of control over your income.
Freelance writing, teaching English online, transcription jobs… These days remote work opportunities are bountiful. Think about how can turn your skills into a service. Then, pick an African nation with good internet connectivity and find a cozy co-working space. Right before your tourist visa expires, visa hop to another exciting locale. It's time to shift the way you think about making money. And use the time in-country to investigate other work or business opportunities. Don’t forget to pack along a few extra chargers and buy travelers insurance!
Digital nomad job options: Teaching English online, freelance writing, editing, graphic design, trading, affiliate marketing, freelancing your skill, resell African art, sell stock photos, transcription work.
- BlackFreelance (a must!)
- Inkwell Editorial (a Black freelance writing guru friend of mine living abroad in Jamaica runs this extremely useful and practical freelance writing advice platform!)
- Rat Race Rebellion
- VIP Kids
- Club Thrifty
- Melecia At Home
- Also, read this article
Many African nations are struggling with a teacher shortage. Have a degree in education? Perfect! Your skills are needed. Apply to private schools or get a teaching position through a teach abroad organization. Don’t have a degree in education? From computer classes to ICT lessons, you still have something to offer. Hit up those teach abroad programs (you’ll probably have to get your TEFL certification), and apply!
Expect to pay a program fee for many teach abroad organizations, but know that the rewards will outweigh your monetary payment. Whether you come with a program or snag a gig on your own, you’ll still have to get a work visa or permit. Generally, teach abroad orgs handle visa applications, but be prepared for the possibility of having to assist.
Keep these points in mind
- Craftiness is key. Important info won't always be on a big pretty website. And sometimes you'll get conflicting info about visas. It can be hard to get straightforward answers to simple immigration questions. The path to moving to Africa can be full of confusing twists and turns. However, craftiness and a lot of digging around can take you far.
Join internet communities and chat with current expats. Buy Skype credit and call immigration agencies up on the phone. Or, plan a fact-finding trip, carry some resumes, and schedule meetings with potential employers. If you'd love to start exporting a certain product, get to know "who's who" in the agricultural industry and share your interests. Bottom line, don't feel funny about going the extra mile and taking a crafty approach.
- Grow a thick skin. Whether you're moving to Ghana or Mozambique, you will probably hit a roadblock or two...or three! Seasoned expats around Africa will tell you that's par for the course. Trust us, we've seen it ALL. The worst thing you can do is give up. Take the challenging moments in stride, regroup, and keep on pushing.
- Remember the bigger picture. So that $400 a month volunteer salary is leaving a sour taste in your mouth. And the idea of hopping from one country to the next every three months when your visa expires sounds exhausting.
Understand that there's sooo much more to these experiences than meets the eye. These are fantastic ways to get the lay of the land, make connections, and feel your way through to your next living in Africa opportunity. Don't underestimate the power of a move to Africa and the vantage point you have from simply being on African soil.
Ready to reclaim your Wakanda? Look into the opportunities above and make it happen! Or, if you're already living the dream, share how you successfully moved to Africa below.