« I’ve always wanted to do something both for my own country and for the continent of Africa as a whole »
|Yaya Kané is from Mopti in Mali. He arrived in France in August 2008, to take an economy course at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne. In spite of his decision to continue with his studies in France, Yaya always meant to go back home,||taking all his new knowledge and professional experience with him - “Right from the start, I had the idea that I would specialise in Europe and then come back to do something both for my own country and for the continent of Africa as a whole”, he tells us.|
After spending seven years in France, he was starting to miss his friends and family. He found out about OFII when he was doing some research online and decided to embark on the formalities to go back to Mali. “OFII’s scheme is important for students or young graduates like me. When you’re living away from your own country, you lose touch with what’s actually going on back home and you also get a bit disconnected from your network of professional contacts.”
He believes that a lot of African students who have been educated in Europe do not go back home even though they have a crucial role to play in the proper social and economic development of their home countries. Although he admits that looking for a job can be tough and that salaries are often muchlower than they are in Europe, Yaya encourages his compatriots to go back home and work in their own country.
The importance of the network of graduates is crucial in Mali and this was one area where OFII’s help was vital to him. “OFII has got contacts in businesses and organisations [...] The support they provide is also really useful. OFII helps young graduates to put a plan together, puts together fresh CVs, gets ready for job interviews and meets organisations.”
At the age of 32, Yaya’s ambition is to work in international humanitarian organisations and, to help him to do this, OFII has funded an English course in Accra in Ghana. At the moment he is doing an internship at Care International, an international organisation which works in 710 villages in Mali in order to set up grants relating to child nutrition, family farms and sanitation.