At a time when Europe is going through a major crisis of confidence and where opportunities for young graduates or aspiring entrepreneurs are narrowing, many are tempted by exile. Among the destinations that come to mind most often, we find, of course, China (which, we are often reminded, is destined to become the first world power), Australia which, brought by its integration in the Asian economies, benefits from the expansion of the latter, or Canada.
Africa is less often thought of as a land of opportunity, yet it is very likely that Africa will be the new China, whose growth rate will fall in the next decade, while Africa, the last frontier of the world economic development, will take off thanks to the conjunction of several factors: increasingly dynamic forces, young populations, resources of raw materials more than significant, a capital ready to invest and finally, very important needs in all areas.
This is what drives some French entrepreneurs like Hassan Hachem to encourage young people to try their luck in Africa. "When I entered the labor market in the early 1990s, Africa was desperately short of specialists in all fields (mine being architecture) but was already offering opportunities. I wanted to seize these opportunities and twenty years later, I can say that I would never have realized the career that is mine and be at the origin of so many companies if I had stayed in France where an architect found it difficult to work and was paid the equivalent of 7 euros per hour, "says Hassan Hachem
"What is remarkable for young people is that Africa now offers many more opportunities: it is progressing in all areas and some countries are likely to experience an economic takeoff comparable to that of Asian tigers", continues still Hassan Hachem.
I strongly encourage young graduates to explore opportunities as Africa needs important technical and managerial skills. Of course, not all African countries offer the same opportunities. Economic development requires stability that all countries do not offer, says Hassan Hachem, "but just look at countries whose growth rate exceeds 5% over the last 10 years. The latter are often ready to leave the status of a developing country to join the club of emerging countries and this is perhaps where the opportunities are easiest to grasp. The era that opens to Africa is unprecedented and it is certainly the new frontier, as the Wild West could have been for the United States, 150 years ago.
To conclude, here are the countries that have the most potential in the medium term, according to Hassan Hachem. "If I rely on the latest studies I have had access to, I think there are great opportunities in the following countries for the next five years: Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, Angola , Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) and finally Uganda. "
Equatorial Guinea job opportunities
Hassan Hachem, a renown entrepreneur in Equatorial Guinea, shares with us his view of the Equatorial Guinea job market. In one sentence, "there is full of possibilities to work and live with a great salary in Equatorial Guinea".
Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa where Spanish is spoken. The great opportunity in this country is for management positions in any type of business, in the logistics, nursing and commercial sectors, positions for which in many occasions they prefer to have Westerners instead of national natives, due to the scarce training that exists at a local level.
Equatorial Guinea is a country of little more than 1,200,000 inhabitants and has great wealth due to its oil deposits. It was a province of Spain until 1968.
Its main cities are its capital Malabo which is located on the main island of the country and Bata which is the largest city and is located on the African mainland.
Wages and working conditions for expatriates
In the positions that expatriates occupy, salaries are high, at the moment the norm is a salary from 3,000 euros per month, plus the rent of the house and trips to your country of residence paid during your vacation periods. Salaries can be much higher, for example as a doctor you can get a salary between 7,000 and 12,000 euros per month. When working as an expatriate, there is often the possibility of getting your salary paid into your country's bank account in your local currency.
Security for expatriates in this country is very high.
Where and how to look for work in Equatorial Guinea
It is not advisable to go on the adventure to look for a job, unless you already have someone you know there, as even the tourist visa process is quite complicated to get.
Although it is complicated to enter the country if you don't know anyone, it is easy for a company that is interested in hiring you to apply for a visa to work there and even offer to cover the cost of the plane ticket. For all these reasons, the best way to get a job here is to look for job offers and make the selection process from your own country and go with the signed contract.
For this type of offer, it is advisable to prepare a good cover letter and a CV that is as professional as possible. It is not worth writing: I want to work, I am going anywhere because in Spain there is the fatal kosa. Bear in mind that you are opting for management and responsibility positions so you need to reflect being a person prepared and willing to live in another country because you want to face new professional challenges, you should never appear desperate, you have to give yourself a chance.
Companies that have expatriates on their staff i Equatorial Guinea
Here are some of the main companies in Equatorial Guinea where they have expatriates on their staff and therefore there is always the possibility of new job offers.
Equatorial ambition in the energy sector
Equatorial Guinea maintains its ambition to position itself as an oil and gas hub in the region. The country, which experienced an economic slump following the oil crisis of 2014, is attempting a timid recovery supported by rising oil prices. While the economy is in recession, Malabo is exposing its reforms, deemed insignificant in a context of widespread corruption, denounced by opponents of the Obiang regime.
Equatorial Guinea is expected to produce 140,000 barrels of oil per day from October 2020, compared to 120,000 barrels at present, announced Gabriel Obiang Lima, the Oil Minister in early January. The additional 20,000 barrels will be drawn from new oil fields in the country, more specifically from the S-5 field in offshore Block S, discovered last November by the American oil company Kosmos Energy. This is the first well, the result of a drilling campaign that will continue until next year. Equatorial Guinea has been faced with the maturing of its largest producing fields, causing a drop in production volumes. To raise production levels, the Central African country is planning to launch a new cycle of oil and gas licensing by June or December 2020. Malabo had already launched a licensing cycle of 26 licences, including 24 offshore and two onshore last April.
Discovery of a new oil field in Equatorial Guinea
The idea is to position itself as a gas hub for the sub-region. The Central African country depended on hydrocarbons for 56% of its GDP, 95% of its exports and 80% of its tax revenues, according to African Development Bank (AfDB) figures in 2017.
Economy at half mast
Over the period 2015-2018, Equatorial Guinea's real GDP declined by nearly 29 per cent, after four consecutive years of recession due to falling oil prices and the lack of diversification of its economy. In 2018, the real GDP growth rate continued to decline, falling to -7.9 per cent from -2.9 per cent in 2017, led by the drop in oil production (-14 per cent). Growth will remain negative in 2019 (-2.7%) and 2020 (-2.5%) as a result of lower hydrocarbon production and fiscal adjustments. The government is counting on additional Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the oil sector to boost production in the coming years. Growth is expected to return to positive in 2021, for the country that has attempted reforms.
As part of its year of investment, the government of Equatorial Guinea is banking on the development of mining and energy infrastructure such as refineries, a gas-fired power plant and storage tanks. In particular, the country aims to become a refiner and producer of petroleum products with a capacity of 20,000 to 30,000 barrels per day. In order to develop local skills in the oil sector, an engineering academy and a training company are being set up to promote professional training and quality education for Equatorial Guinean citizens.