Changing Places – Migration Opportunities and Pitfalls

Key information

6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
SOAS University of London
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)

About this event

Ike Anya, Onyekachi Wambu and Frances Mensah Williams discuss overcoming migration challenges and achieving win-win outcomes.

In June 1948 the SS Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, carrying with it the hopes and dreams of hundreds of young men and women from the Caribbean, most in search of better opportunities. It was a point of departure and historic transformation, representing the beginning of mass migration to the UK and the emergence of multi-cultural Britain. Since then, millions of others have travelled back and forth, especially from the Caribbean and Africa, seeking fresh opportunities, and in the process remaking the infamous Triangle.

Join our three authors, Ike Anya, Onyekachi Wambu and Frances Mensah Williams, whose publications meditate on the experience and impulses behind migration, the challenges faced by the newly arrived and their descendants, and the options ensuring win-win outcomes for the migrant, their country of heritage and country of residence.

About the speakers

Onyekachi Wambu. In 1988, 50 years after they first arrived in the UK, Onyekachi Wambu edited one of the first books on the Windrush Generation. In June 2023 his new anthology Empire Windrush: Reflections on 75 Years & More of the Black British Experience is a further literary consideration of Windrush, alongside the troubled preceding 500 years relationship of slavery, empire and colonisation.

Onyekachi Wambu is a Nigerian-British journalist and writer. He has directed television documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and PBS. He is currently Director, Special Projects, for the African Foundation for Development’s (AFFORD), an international organisation that aims to expand and enhance the contributions the African diaspora make to African development.

Frances Mensah Williams CBE in her book I want to Work in Africa has provided a unique, step-by-step guide to working in the fastest growing continent in the world, offering invaluable advice on the African job market, the industries, and professions in demand, how to put in place a winning strategy, make the right connections, and find a job in Africa in today's competitive job market. Her highly readable book helps draw up a personal road map for this exciting step in an international career journey; clarify motivation, assess skills, and develop a compelling case for recruiters and corporations, ensuring that they recognise the powerful contributions candidates can make.

Illustrated with personal stories and full of practical advice from recruiters and professionals who have successfully made the transition to work in Africa, I Want to Work in Africa provides information, insights, and inspiration to make the right career move to the most exciting continent in the world today. Frances Williams is a writer, Executive Coach and Human Resources consultant with over thirty years of experience in developing and managing people. She is the Chief Executive of Interims for Development Ltd., an award-winning UK-based Human Resources, Careers and Training consultancy that has successfully assisted businesses and organisations in Europe and Africa with HR advisory services, Diaspora recruitment, executive coaching, and talent development.

She speaks and writes extensively on issues relating to skills development in Africa and harnessing the talents of the African Diaspora.  She is also the publisher and Editor of ReConnect Africa, an online magazine and website providing essential information on careers and business for African professionals in the Diaspora. Frances has published seven novels to date and is the author of the careers book Everyday Heroes – Learning from the Careers of Successful Black Professionals

Ike Anya was born in Nigeria and qualified at the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria in 1995. He is currently a consultant and associate director of public health and an honorary lecturer at Imperial College. He sits on the epidemiology and black and ethnic minority health section councils of the Royal Society of Medicine. Ike Anya’s book Small by Small, charts his early years as a medical student and junior doctor in Nigeria before his migration the UK. 

It chronicles the triumphs and failures of his student days through to his first demanding year as a house officer. A medical memoir unlike any from the West, it is set against the background of tempestuous 1990s Nigeria, where political unrest, social change and a worsening economy make a doctor's life particularly challenging, driving the impetus for migration.  After years of medical practice in the UK, and at a time of renewed aggressive recruitment of medical professionals from Africa, Ike Anya has many constructive policy prescriptions for win-win options for the migrant, origin countries as well as host countries.

The Discussion will be followed by Books signing by the Speakers and a drinks reception.

The event is part of the collaboration between AFFORD and SOAS