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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world - Citizen Journalism at its finest!

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« Why are Cameroonian Medical Doctors Leaving? (2): The Personal Journey of Dr. Valentine Ngwa | Main | Music Review: Richard Bona The Coming of Age of a Music Maestro »

April 24, 2006

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Ma Mary

This is not just true of the UK, but also America but by and large America seems to offer a lot more social mobility than Europe. Any takers?

The social welfare state is an African killer in Europe.

I agree with Gbadamosi. Africans need to fix Africa. Nigeria seems to be doing a better job, with anticorruption starting from the top.

Alex

A country of immigrants, America is more welcoming of immigrants (even with the regular periods of Anti-Immigrant tendencies) than old Europe. Immigrants easily integrate the American stream while even top-notch professionals from developing countries can spend their entire professional life on the fringes.

All said and done, the plight of the immigrant is generally a tough one and the only way to have the aces on their side is for immigrants to start seriously start working on credible social and professional networks. Man-Know-Man exists everywhere and in America and Europe, Africans don't know the right people.

Emah

While the article above exactly and unambiguously brings out the truth, come to think about it in the simple manner.

A Master degree holder in Cameroon say, if at all employed, will be paid about 200,000frs(400 US dollars or 200 pounds)while in Africa, then he moves to Europe,London say, Picks up a "BBC" Job and earns 700pounds, which is 700,000frs cfa. As simple as the mathematics looks, despite the Loses in both ways. He will prefer to deal with this "BBC" situation than doing his skilled Job back in Africa for peanuts or not been employed at all.

As one commentator said above, We Africans must make Africa conducive for ourselves. We must APPRECIATE what we have. Our leaders must put Africa in the centre of their activities.

God will not do for man what He God has empowered man to do for himself.

Nkaki


It's the same double standard in America. If you come to America under a student visa and you're from an African country, everyone is ready to send you back to your country once you finish studying. But when Europeans come to America, there are green cards already waiting for them and it's easier for them to blend in because they have white skin. It's even easier for Asians and Indians, who aren't perceived to be much of a threat at all and have the "good immigrant" and "smart" stereotype going for them. But we Africans don't have the same network as these other ethnic groups do and they just don't want us here by the way.

It's gotten so bad that even female American students of all ethnic groups all know what it means to be an international student and they would ask you openly if you are one. If you answer "yes," they begin to doubt if your interest in them is genuine or whether you're trying to talk to them to get your papers. International students are forbidden from working off-campus no matter what the case may be; international students, no matter how tough their courses may be, must take 3 classes (nine credits) each semester; international, undergraduate stduents must take 4 classes (12 credits) each semester. Talk about a repressive immigration system.

Owona

Emah, your analysis fails to take into account the actual cost of living in Yaounde and London. For example, how much does the guy in Cameroon making 200 pounds a month pay for his monthly rent and other living expenses as opposed to his friend in London who makes 700 pounds? (FYI a 2 bedroom apartment which goes for about fifty thousand FCFA in Yaounde might cost about 800 dollars or more in any major US city...)

What is the toll of the 700 pound job on the mental stability and dignity of the BBC? And can money buy the absence of family and friends? etc. etc.

No, I will rather make 200 pounds in Cameroon idling in a Ministry than 700 pounds cleaning bottoms in Europe. My take is that if you intend to abandon your job in Cameroon for Cameroon for greener pastures, then that pasture must be really "green" or else it is not worth the trouble and result is absolute brain waste.

Emah

Well Owona, Absolutely I agree with you. I was just looking at one side of it. In thsi same forum, I had commented on how Nothing replaces home, no matter what.

But I was talking about what many many will tell you when you ask.

They will tell you, they will prefer to do what they are doing than roam the streets of their own country Jobless. for those who had jobs before leaving for so call greener pastures, then that is definitely a mistake.

So your point is understood and a fact indeed. the environment MUST be MADE enabling enough with the abondant resources avalable in Cameroon

Ernest

Nkaki,

You are right in what u have written but i think that having a system that is ready to repatriate students once they have gained education can be favourable for Africa. Africa needs those educated ones and it goes back to what this topic is all about-Brain drain!

It is evident that if female American citizens are now very cautious, then there is a reason to that and that is many have fallen victims to many predatory Africans.

About green cards waiting white immigrants to the US i know that is not true from experience which i will not divulge here. I know of a white swede that has been living illegally in the US for years and all attempts to get a green card has failed.

Anyway, the plight of the black race in face of the rest of the world is something to marvel at. I have a friend living in Malaysia. He says Chinese consider it a bad omen seeing a black man first thing in the morning...Leaves me wondering!

Ade

The other immigrants: Educated,Underemployed
Thursday, May 18, 2006

By Barry Newman, The Wall Street Journal

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oyumaa Kennedy thought for a second, and then she said it: "I would take a nap."

That was her answer at an interview for an accounting job at a foundation here when asked how she would handle stress. "I didn't relate it to work," she recalls. "Take a nap! I was so wrong!"

Ms. Kennedy, a native of Mongolia with a degree in American-style accounting, didn't find out how wrong until she met Jane Leu, a butcher's daughter from Cleveland and the founder of a tiny nonprofit in San Francisco called Upwardly Global. Ms. Leu may be the only immigration activist in the U.S. focusing on skilled foreigners who come here legally and then can't find jobs to match their abilities.

People like Ms. Kennedy are American classics: the Albanian doorman with a law degree; the Bangladeshi doctor who drives a cab. Well-educated and underemployed, they have populated immigrant families for generations, and more arrive every day as family members of citizens and permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers and visa-lottery winners. Yet in a national struggle over immigration policy, largely driven by issues of unskilled and undocumented workers, they are the invisible bystanders.

Ms. Leu, 36 years old, has been working since 2003 to show big companies that this pool of immigrants is ready, willing -- and here. "We don't have to invest any money in educating these people," she says. "Business wants to bring in new talent. But are we even using the talent we have?" She says -- and the companies confirm -- that so far she has deals to screen, prep and funnel candidates to Google Inc., Bearing Point Inc. and Robert Half International Inc., among others.

Running a cash register was the only talent Ms. Kennedy was using. Before landing in America, her name was Oyumaa Batsuuri. She was born 30 years ago on her parents' farm in northern Mongolia and grew up milking cows. She moved to Ulan Bator in 1993, got her degree, and took an important job at her country's new stock exchange. In 2002, she flew to San Francisco to study English, met a lawyer, married him and stayed.

At the time of her job interview, Ms. Kennedy was working at the Seabreeze Deli & Market (famous for crab) in Berkeley for $8.50 an hour. She had applied for many accounting jobs. A degree from Ulan Bator -- "Where?" -- and experience at the Mongolian Stock Exchange -- "What?" -- got her exactly nowhere. Nor did offering her coping strategy for workplace stress. She couldn't escape the deli. Then she discovered Ms. Leu's agency, which got her out from behind the counter and into a cubicle at Wells Fargo & Co.

Today's immigration debate is about more than unskilled workers. U.S. companies also say they need more workers with skills. The U.S. issues 140,000 green cards to company staffers, but a "comprehensive" bill in the Senate would add an extra 175,000 every year for the next decade. Yet there are some 800,000 others who come to stay legally but not specifically for employment in most years who might be able to fill such jobs.

Where do they fit in? Government has few answers. "We have a much more developed immigration policy than an integration policy," says Michael Fix of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington.

Ms. Leu didn't need a survey to know that. Touring a New York chicken factory as a resettlement worker in the mid-1990s, she met two refugees plucked from the cutting line to be supervisors. One was an engineer from Iraq, the other a surgeon from Bosnia. "The owner was so proud," she recalls. "I'm saying to myself, 'This is not a success.' "

Neither bias nor English fluency are the main issues, as she sees it. Immigrants who would otherwise qualify -- and arrive confident of picking up their careers where they left off -- have their hopes dashed by a failure to connect on other levels: "The American process of promoting yourself is so foreign," Ms. Leu says. American employers often find foreign diplomas baffling, too, and don't know how to compare them to U.S. equivalents. States rarely give credence to foreign licenses, often requiring immigrants to get local certification that may mean additional courses.

Mostly, though, employers don't know this labor reserve exists. In 2003, Ms. Leu opened an office and began offering big companies a stream of candidates. Few went for it. That explains why her agency is a nonprofit. "We have the supply," she says. "Not the demand."

Her supply filters in via local immigrant networks: a Kenyan public-relations man, a plant pathologist from Bulgaria, an Eritrean chemist, a guidance counselor from Cameroon.

Dzmitry Pinski, 31, has a philosophy doctorate from Belarus. He taught ethics there before winning the State Department's visa lottery. He landed in Los Angeles in 2003, worked in a bakery and a Russian bookstore, then found Ms. Leu. He wants to be a corporate ethics officer.

Helio Prado, 39, was a $90,000-a-year stockbroker in Brazil. Now he is a waiter at Fuzio's, a restaurant in San Francisco, granted U.S. asylum after a gay-bashing incident in Sao Paulo. In six years, his best jobs here have been two internships, both unpaid. He came across Ms. Leu online in March and sent her his resume for a total rewrite. "In Brazil, I could always be honest and show the best of me," he says. "Here, I just don't know what's expected. I'm stuck."

So far, Ms. Leu says she has unstuck 200 of her 350 clients. Her biggest success has come with 156,000-employee Wells Fargo. Joycee Wong, a part-timer in the bank's museum who came to the U.S. from Hong Kong at age 10, stopped by Ms. Leu's booth at a conference and volunteered to help with mock interviews. She brought along a colleague, Michelle Scales, who is from Pakistan and has since become the bank's head of marketing to immigrant customers.

Ms. Scales got Ms. Leu in to see Avid Modjtabai, from Iran, who last year was made Wells Fargo's human resources chief. "Jane has a source of immigrant talent," she says. "It's difficult to find these people. It's been a random process." Now the bank has Upwardly Global to search them out and teach them the ways of the American job interview.

Which is how Oyumaa Kennedy learned that "take a nap" isn't an appropriate answer to a question about stress. The next interview went better. "She showed energy, positive energy," says Anil Mohon, who immigrated from Fiji in 1969. A year ago, he interviewed Ms. Kennedy for a job in Wells Fargo's mutual-fund accounting group. "Eager, eager to learn," he says. "That's her attitude, and that's what we're looking for."

Ms. Kennedy went to work the next day.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06138/691247-84.stm

Ulmedex

This Oyumaa Kennedy sucks, she is a whore, very selfish girl. Hey, Oyumaa if you see this, give my money back, alrigt?

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