RCA Flag
RCA Flag
Connecting Africa’s Skilled Professionals
RCA Flag

ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

Library of Articles


2006 Global Accountability Report Now Available


The Global Accountability Index is the first initiative to measure and compare the accountability of transnational organisations across sectors. In doing so, it extends basic principles of democracy to the global level. The 2006 Report presents the findings of research into the accountability of 30 of the world's most powerful organisations based on four dimensions of accountability: transparency, participation, evaluation, and complaint and response.  Copies available for download from the Oneworld Trust website.  http://www.oneworldtrust.org/

African Scientists Eligible for European Funding

For the first time, researchers in Africa and other developing countries will be able to apply for European Union (EU) funding under nearly the same terms as European researchers, as opposed to a limited amount of funding for earmarked projects. The first round of calls for the European Union's US$ 69 billion Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - which includes scientists from developing countries – was announced at the end of 2006.  Priority areas of research identified for African and other developing countries include health, environment, transportation and agriculture. In particular, the seven-year funding mechanism emphasises innovation for rapid diagnostics for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and tests for drug resistance. Researchers from African countries will be eligible for all-funding mechanisms, as long as they apply as part of a team that includes at least three EU member states or EU partner countries. There is also specific funding available in each of the priority areas, for which up to two EU and two non-EU countries can apply in collaboration. The programme will give precedence to projects mutually beneficial to the EU and developing countries. FP7 will run from 1 January 2007 until December 2013. Information on how to apply for funds can be found at the website of the Community Research & Development Information Service.   Source: Afrol News/ SciDev.Net

Nigerian Diaspora Honours President Obasanjo

The Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), has honoured President Olusegun Obasanjo with an "Exemplary and Visionary Leadership Award". NIDO in Americas Chairman, Ola Kassim, announced the award at a dinner in Toronto, Canada, to end the four-day First Nigeria Worldwide Diaspora Conference and commended the president for his commitment to the organisation and for involving Nigerian Diaspora in national development efforts.  NIDO also honoured Nigeria`s Ministers of Education and the Federal Capital Territory as well as the Chairman of the anti-graft Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.  The conference, attended by hundreds of Nigerians living in the Americas including the US and Canada, as well as from Europe, Asia and Africa, also discussed the building of partnerships for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Yale University Puts African Art in the Spotlight

A revamped and revivified version of the Yale University Art Gallery’s Louis Kahn building has a big new permanent gallery devoted to the arts of Africa, with an inaugural display of a size and quality to put Yale at the head of the class of university art museums.  Most of the recently arrived art is from a collection of nearly 600 African objects given to the museum by Charles B. Benenson (1913-2004), a New York real estate developer and Yale alumnus. In addition to leaving Yale one of the largest gifts of art in its history, Mr. Benenson has endowed a curatorial position in African art at the museum. Source: New York Times

Poor Grammar is Letting Down Candidates and Agencies

Job applications sent to employers are full of basic grammar and spelling mistakes, research carried out by the REC in association with the BBC has discovered. Nearly half of all CVs received by recruitment firms contain grammatical and spelling errors according to the survey of 266 firms. 47% of all CVs received by agencies contained mistakes with applicants aged between 21 and 25 likely to be the most error prone. 70% of firms said that female applicants made fewer mistakes than men. In a further recent survey by Kelly Services, they found that only 5% of their own candidates’ CVs contained no errors at all, with the rest having an average of 14 errors, mostly grammatical. Source: Recruitmentmatters.com

New UN Secretary-General Commits to Carry Forward the Global Compact

The new UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has deemed the Global Compact as central to the United Nations’ engagement with the private sector. He stated that widespread social and economic gains can result when business engages in responsible practices which respect human rights, ensure safe workplaces, exercise environmental care and are not corrupt.  In an address to the UNA-USA Business Council for the United Nations, the Secretary General stressed that business, trade and investment are essential pillars of peace and prosperity.  The UN Global Compact is the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative with thousands of participants located in over 100 countries. As a multi-stakeholder initiative, the UN Global Compact brings together all relevant actors – government, business, workers and civil society – to advance universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

Women make up 25% of top 100 UK Entrepreneurs

For the first time, one in four people who appear in Management Today’s list of the top 100 entrepreneurs are women. There were 25% less women in the first list, which was published in 2004. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, more than one million women in Britain are now running their own businesses - a rise of 355,000 since statistics were first drawn up in 1984. Source: Grapevine

Friends at Work make us Happy

The most important factor in employee happiness is not money but friendly, supportive colleagues, reveals research by Chiumento, a multi-disciplinary HR consultancy. 73% of British workers cited good relationships with colleagues as the key reason they enjoy their job, while only 48% cited financial reward. Despite frequent reports of dissatisfaction with work at this time of year, it is not all doom and gloom according to Chiumento’s ‘Happiness Index’. One quarter of employees described themselves as very happy at work, while only one in five described themselves as unhappy. However, the unhappier an employee is, the more likely they will see money, or a perceived lack of it, to be an underlying cause of their unhappiness.  The research also showed that happiness declines the longer people stay with an organisation. 82% of people who have been with their current employer for two years or less are happy. This drops to 76 % of those who have been with their employer for 10 years or more, as the ‘honeymoon period’ ends. Source: Chiumento

50% of people believe they have the skills to start a business

More people are engaged in starting new businesses than established business ownership, suggesting a challenge for policy makers to provide appropriate infrastructures and support to allow entrepreneurial businesses to flourish.  This was one of the findings of the eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). The report is the largest annual measure of entrepreneurial activity worldwide, compiled by more than 150 scholars from 42 countries. The report also found that entrepreneurial activity is higher in countries with lower levels of GDP, where the necessity for enterprise is greater, whereas in high-income counties, like Japan and the EU 15, entrepreneurial activity is lower.  Entrepreneurs from developing countries are riding the wave of innovation and technology by bringing ‘new’ products to their markets, and similarly, entrepreneurial activity seems focused on export markets, with over 7.8% of early-stage entrepreneurs in the UK having 75 – 100% of their markets abroad.  Experience and gender also factor - those starting new businesses are young (24-25), and men are still more likely to entrepreneurially active. The exception is women from low-income countries who are more likely to be entrepreneurs than their higher income counterparts.

UK Businesses face Penalties for Employing Illegal Immigrants

The UK Home Office has started a £700,000 advertising campaign to draw attention to new laws enforcing civil penalties for employers with fines of up to £2,000 for every illegal immigrant they employ. Under the laws, those who knowingly use or exploit illegal workers could also face prosecution, with a maximum two-year jail term and an unlimited fine. The current rules on illegal working are seen by many as complex, making it difficult for employers to know for sure whether a migrant is allowed to work in the UK or not. Source: Grapevine

Diverse Workforce Better for Business

A survey undertaken by ICM on behalf of the UK’s Jobcentre Plus shows that a diverse workforce is better for business and could help to increase sales and attract recruits. One in two customers would be more likely to use a business that included people from different backgrounds, in particular disabled, female, ethnic minority and older workers and 79% of the 2,000 respondents said that it was important for businesses to have a good diversity employment policy in place. Source: Financial Times

South Africa’s Middle Class Expanding Rapidly

South Africans are among the most upwardly mobile people in the world, according to a number of surveys reported by the country’s Sunday Times.  Citing studies of class mobility in South Africa by researchers FutureFact and the University of Cape Town's Unilever Institute, the newspaper describes South Africa’s middle class as ‘exploding’ and the country as optimistic. According to the UCT Unilever Institute and Research Surveys, only around 2-million out of South Africa's population of 47 million make up the country's emerging black middle and upper classes. However, the group accounts for over 40% of total black spending power - currently R130 billion annually - and is growing at an estimated rate of 50% a year. And according to the FutureFact survey "Getting up and staying up," of the 2 500 adults surveyed, 45% see themselves as middle class, 31% as working or lower class, 12% as upper middle class and 2% as upper class (with 10% unsure). In a recent survey by the International Marketing Council of South Africa of 3 000 people, 94% said they were proud to be South African, 80% said their lives were better now than before 1994 - when the country held its first democratic elections - and 89% said they thought their lives would be better still in 10 years' time.

Ford Foundation International Fellows Programme

The International Fellowships Programme (IFP) provides opportunities for advanced study to exceptional individuals who will use this education to become leaders in their respective fields, furthering development in their own countries and greater economic and social justice worldwide. To ensure that Fellows are drawn from more diverse backgrounds than ever before, IFP will actively recruit candidates from social groups and communities that lack systematic access to higher education. http://www.fordfound.org/news/more/11272000ifp/index.cfm

NEPAD e-Schools Launch in Egypt

The Egyptian Government, HP Consortium, ORACLE Consortium and NEPAD e-Africa Commission, will launch the NEPAD e-Schools Demonstration Project on 11 February 2007 at Al Hadeen Secondary School, Kom Hamada, Al Behera in Egypt.The launch, which will cover six schools across the country, makes Egypt the sixth country to launch the project after Uganda, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya and Rwanda. Egypt will also become the first Arab and North African country to launch the NEPAD e-Schools. The NEPAD e-Schools Project falls under the auspices of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission – the NEPAD Information and Communication Technology (ICT) task team responsible for developing the NEPAD ICT programme and implementing related projects. First announced in 2003 at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa, the NEPAD e-Schools Project focuses on providing end-to-end ICT solutions that will connect schools across Africa to the NEPAD e-Schools network and the Internet. Solutions also include the provision of content and learning material and the establishment of health points at schools.  In total, more than 600 000 schools across the continent will enjoy the benefits of ICT and connectivity to the NEPAD e-Schools satellite network upon completion of the project. The HP and ORACLE Consortia, and a number of other private companies are sponsoring the demonstration project, consisting of six schools in each of the 16 participating countries, for a period of 12 months. Source: Nepad.

Angola invests US$19 Million in Construction of Polytechnic Institutes

The Angolan Government has invested approximately US$19 million in the construction of the Humpata and Matala polytechnic institutes, in the Southern Huila province.  The two polytechnic institutes, which begin operation in 2008, will run courses of civil construction, blacksmith, electronic, carpentry and computer studies. Each institute will consist of 26 classrooms, two laboratories, a library, offices, medical wards, technical workshops and sporting facilities, and will have capacity for 500 students.

Women Managers Increase by a Third in the UK

The number of women in managerial and professional roles has increased significantly over the last 10 years says a new report by UK's Work Foundation. Women have moved into higher skilled, higher paying work.  However, a further report by Peninsula shows a growing number of women feel their career is being held back due to gender and that firms are biased towards men, with 4 out of 5 women saying they have experienced discrimination. A BT study found women over 50 make ideal bosses for the future and that women are more likely than men to support flexible working trusting their staff to complete a job from home or office.  Source: Aurora

2007 Alcan Prize for Sustainability Call For Entries

Alcan and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) are pleased to announce the US$1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability 2007 is now open for entries. Information on eligibility criteria and how to enter the Alcan Prize for Sustainability is available at www.alcanprizeforsustainability.com. The closing date for receipt of entries is midnight March 31, 2007 (GMT). Since the Alcan Prize for Sustainability was introduced four years ago, it has become a significant mechanism for businesses and the NGO community to work together to address social, economic, and environmental issues and how they relate to sustainability. The Alcan Prize is open to all not-for-profit, non-governmental, and civil society organizations based anywhere in the world that are working to advance the goals of economic, environmental, and social sustainability. The Alcan Prize for Sustainability was created to recognize the not-for-profit sector for its contributions to global sustainability both in the community and more widely by influencing policy. In addition to the US$1 million Prize, Alcan Grants worth US$15,000 will be awarded to nine NGOs to invest in certifiable capacity training such as the one-year, part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Cross Sector Partnership accredited by the University of Cambridge.

Welcome to the new, upgraded ReConnect Africa website.
Please help us provide you with information relevant to your needs by completing the fields below (just this once!)