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Hassan Hachem: self made men in Africa : a reality

Behind globalization, so much feared by European economies that have not chosen it and have not been able to adapt to it, hides an infinity of situations specific to each country. In Africa, the opening up of economies and the influx of capital has resulted in the creation of new opportunities for young Europeans. And if the future of Europeans was not in China or India, but in Africa?

When Hassan Hachem, freshly graduated from his School of Architecture in Paris, arrived in Africa, he was lucky to be entrusted with the planning of a luxury residence by a local decision-maker. Seizing on the fly this opportunity to express his talent and too happy to escape the slump that affected, in the early 1990s, the European economy (and that offered only meager salaries of 35 to 40 French francs or 6 at 7 euros per hour to junior architects), Hassan Hachem decides to stay on this continent. Driven by his nascent reputation in this part of the world where architects worthy of the name, were not legion, he seized the opportunities that presented themselves. To the point of having made most of his career in Africa. Twenty years after his debut, Hassan Hachem recognizes it: Africa was for him the chance of his life. He would never have known in Europe the extraordinary entrepreneurial career that he had.

It was twenty five years ago, in an Africa that sorely lacked infrastructure, capital, and laws protecting companies. Today, while the attention of the world is focused on China, MIST countries and other CIVETS (Indonesia, Viet Nam, Egypt, Turkey, ...), these emerging countries which have not proven their capacity to drive substainables growth the way Europe did, the potential of Africa is underestimated. A real development dynamic exists in many African countries that offer opportunities to all well-made and well-rounded heads because Africa that wants to build needs executives, entrepreneurs and skilled workers.
Opportunities are legion and conditions given to incoming entrepreneurs are much more favorable than before: in the 1990s, many African capitals did not have restaurants worthy of the name, schools likely to provide quality education and infrastructure enabling the economy to turn. Things have changed in many countries and offer an interesting playground for young graduates who have a taste for adventure and who wish to make great careers.

Where, for them, many doors are closed in France because of funding problems or job market saturated and trusted by seniors, Africa, despite the skills acquired, unfortunately still lacks specialized manpower. Where being young is a disadvantage in the labor market in Europe, well-trained young Europeans can quickly be given projects in Africa and start building capital, which would allow them to start their own business in a few years. The level of risk of many projects remains high: we must try to develop markets that do not yet exist, identify truly reliable local partners, understand the culture of the country and the pitfalls associated with it. Risk management is therefore a fundamental element for those who want to try the African adventure and may be tomorrow be among the pioneers who have succeeded in this continent that is dreaming of being the China of tomorrow.

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