It is not in the character of an African man to wine or wail over the situation they found themselves in. There is always the belief that things will improve and life will get better. Instead for the African man to complain, he would instead find a way to comfort himself and life goes on. What most African immigrants are facing in their countries of adoption leave much to be desired; but as always, the spirit of hope, the never-die character that things will get better continues to follow Africans wherever they call home.
I imagine what the continent of Africa would be like if it had responsive and foresighted leadership that took responsibility for the development of the continent. But alas, they would instead allow their best brains go adrift into the land unknown in search of survival for peanuts. African immigrants, like the proverbial fraternal twins, trading their hard earned qualifications for menial jobs. I wonder in awe, what would the African situation have been should these skills lying idle in far away America be allowed to manifest in the development of our continent!
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that African immigrants in the United States are among the most educated in with 69% having a college degree. This report might come as news to people who are strangers to Africans beyond the unsavory remarks about the continent. But for Africans, it is the spirit to go beyond limits in pursuit of determined goals in the face of daunting possibilities. The same untiring effort to defy limitations that lead many Africans to seek better opportunities many kilometers away from their fatherland on the soil of America!
One question the African immigrant needs to ask is what is my qualification worth in the US? And as a rider, what can I do to have and live my true worth in America?
It is common to see a graduate working as a bartender in multiple bars, or it won’t be surprising to know that your cab driver is a qualified medical doctor from Africa. Many engineers of note are in the junkyard working on dirt to survive another day in the supposed land of opportunity. It is a familiar scene to see former bankers eke out a living as cleaners in public facilities across America.
The question, therefore, is why are these highly qualified African immigrants, who account for the brain drain of Africa taking up menial jobs; jobs, less than their educational worth and probably less than what they are worth back in their home countries?
The answer lies in the quality of life the average African seek in a foreign land, and the idea of greener pasture came as a result of low level of the human capital index in most African states particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
America is indeed a land of opportunities; it is the largest economy in the world with a GDP in excess of 15 trillion dollars and a market, well over 300 million people. The country attains this status because of stable political, economic and legal structures. Which means everything in the US happens according to plan.
A society like this is a direct opposite of where most African immigrants come from, and if they can survive in their respective countries, it means no matter the situation right now in their country of adoption, the US, they can do much better.
Although there are reports of employment discrimination against blacks and indeed African immigrants, America makes into its coffers approximately $307,000 from an immigrant with a bachelor’s degree and an estimated $765,000 from immigrants with master’s degree in their lifetime, according to George Bush Presidential center. The publication argued that recent immigrants have a higher possibility of holding college and advanced degree than native-born Americans have.
The George Bush center’s publication points to the value of an African immigrant with regards to their qualification. The lesson from the Bush Center, however, is that every African living in America must follow a simple, yet determined plan to establish the true worth of their credentials so that they will not only continue to enrich America but also get a better return on their investment and efforts for coming to the US.
The following are what can be done to ensure African immigrants get true worth for their qualifications:
While every immigrant in the US scramble for limited jobs, it is certain that the real African spirit would place African immigrants in good stead to make ends meet. There is a saying that true African blood can survive anywhere in the world even under the ocean. This real African spirit has seen many African people survive the worse situation under the African sky, now that you are in your country of adoption; it’s time to ignite the African character of excellence!
Mikhail is a content creator, a digital marketer, and an entrepreneur. He studied Political Science at the University of Ilorin Nigeria.