In this Eurasia Review interview, Natalie Pavlovna Neporada, Head of the International Recruitment and Cooperation Department of the Russian University of People’s Friendship or popularly referred to as RUDN, talks about recruitment of graduates for employment in Africa, and further about efforts at identifying various sectors with job opportunities and diverse ways to increase the number of specialists from Russian universities to support humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Africa.
Her university is an educational and research institution located in Moscow. It was established in 1960 to provide higher education to Third World students. It became an integral part of the Soviet cultural offensive in nonaligned countries. Many students especially from developed countries attend this university.
As an Executive Director at the International Emploers’ Club, Natalie Neporada has initiated and coordinated employment festivals and job fairs that seek to establish a long-term cooperation and development of relations with and within Africa. The idea of this festival is to become an annual event. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
What’s the aim of the festival “I want to work in Africa”?
The aim of the festival “I want to work in Africa” is to ensure communication of the maximum number of potential employers with the target audience – students and graduates from African countries studying in the Russian Federation, as well as promote the African region as promising and with a lot of potential. This festival will also help African students and graduates as well as any student or graduate interested in working in the region find a good work placement, broaden their minds and, in general, appreciate the multi-faced cultures of the continent
Why only at this time is it being organized?
There are several reasons for that. As you may know, late 2018 the RUDN University established the International Employers’ Club as means to unite employers, universities and students/graduates. The club was founded by the RUDN University as well as Russian HR holding Ancor, Domodedovo holding, Syngenta, Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Russia-Brazil Chamber of Commerce.
It is under the International Employers’ Club that the festival will be taking place. The decision to organize the festival dedicated to Africa lies in our desire to be unconventional covering new grounds and providing new opportunities. There is also an ever-rising interest in the African countries as promising and with great potential. We do plan on broadening our reach and dedicating similar events to other parts of the world, but the Africa-related festival is planned to be an annual event.
Who are the target groups? Russian students in the university?
The target audience – students and graduates who want to be employed in the African region, that is, students from African countries studying in the Russian Federation, but any student or graduate from any walk of life, passionate about working in Africa, is welcome. But the vent is also organized for Russian companies developing business projects in Africa, African companies with interests in the Russian market, international holdings, business associations, alumni associations and Russian and foreign universities are also invited to participate.
How does it work, what mechanism do you have in place?
The mechanism for employment of students and graduates after the festival relies on inspiring interest and increasing an already existing interest within the students and graduates for working in Africa and interest of African and international employers in students and graduates from Russian universities. We already have experience in HR scouting and helping with employment in the region. We have been carrying out such work for several years now.
Many high-stakes companies from Russia, Africa or around the world are invited to meet, greet, celebrate African culture and its promising prospects in the areas of development as well as share experience. Students and graduates are invited as well to meet those high profile companies, tell them about their skills and knowledge acquired in the RUDN University to potentially secure a job.
With whom, in Africa, do you intend to work with African employers?
To name a few, we will have master-classes held by employers of Universal Mining & Chemical Industries Ltd from Zambia, Fintrac Consulting Limited from Nigeria, Letshego Bank Tanzania, Dikon Associates Co. Ltd General Trading from Gambia and many other employers and representatives of African companies will attend. A b4b session between Chambers of Commerce of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, as well as representatives of the Mauritius Economic Development Council.
And in Russia?
Representatives of world-famous holding Danone will hold a master-class as part of our festival. Russian companies such as Rosatom will be participating. Many other high-profile employers will come celebrate the African cultures and future business opportunities along with many Russian universities and Alumni associations. The idea of this festival was to make new partnerships and enrich old ones with new opportunities, prospects and relations.
This is an international employment. So what about getting visas for Russians and other foreigners who want to go to Africa?
The festival aims to invite as many African and international companies to participate, therefore, because the estimated majority of those willing to work in African countries are, in fact, students from Africa there is no need for a visa or a work permit. One of the most important directions we are developing is employment of students in their homeland. However should a student without a visa desire to work in an African company, we will help in acquiring a visa.