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Connecting Africa’s Skilled Professionals
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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.

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Research by Mercer has revealed that half of organizations around the world are transforming their Human Resources functions with a big change in their priorities. The Mercer Human Resource Consulting 2006 HR Transformation Study* found that 12% of the 1400 organisations surveyed had completed a transformation of HR in the past year. 40% of the organisations, from across Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand and North America, listed human capital strategy as a principal function of HR today, while 64% expected it to become a key function within 2 to 3 years.

A key finding of the survey, however, was that line managers’ abilities are proving the biggest barrier to HR professionals being strategic, with 54% of respondents saying that line managers held back the development of HR.

Administrative vs. Strategic?

So while the debate about how the HR function should be more strategic rages on, there is clearly something missing in selling this message effectively to line managers. As any salesman will point out, getting people to do something means showing them what’s in it for them. This begs the question of how the HR function is selling the value it offers as a strategic partner to the business – a role it can only aspire to take on if line managers shirk the responsibility of managing their staff.

In a world where human capital is becoming the only competitive advantage a company can offer, those charged with the task of attracting, developing and retaining crucial skills and talent need the time and the resources to get the job done. Using their time to address employee issues best handled by line managers does not benefit anyone and offers little real value to the organization. If HR is to transform itself from an administrative function with a transactional focus into a strategic business management function, it needs to get line managers out of its way. To be truly strategic, the HR function has a responsibility to develop the skills and confidence of its managers to do just that.

In this Issue

In this issue of ReConnect Africa, we take an in-depth look at the Open University in Africa and speak to Daniel Nti about how this British university is making a difference in Africa’s further education sector.  GOAL, the international humanitarian organization is launching a recruitment drive for skilled professionals and we bring you some of the stories from professionals they have deployed in the field.  If you are struggling to introduce coaching into your organization, leading Coach-mentor Tony Philip provides some guidance on how to make a business case for coach-mentoring.  Award-winning journalist, Caroline Lambert, shares her views on reporting on Africa while Selorm Adadevoh reports on the business trip to Africa taken by students from Wharton Business School.  Feeling stuck?  Our resident career coach, Helen Dupigny, tackles the question of moving out of the development career rut.  Our ‘5 Minute Interview’ this month is with the energetic and inspirational Gladys Famoriyo, a successful speaker, coach and author. 

As ever, we bring you a round up of business around the continent and news stories from Africa and around the world.  October is packed with events and we have highlighted a number of these dates for your diary.


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