THE FPG ROAMING SERIES: WORKING IN…ETHIOPIA
As a leading, global telecommunications recruitment specialist, we place experts in every continent across the world. In our latest, FPG Roaming Series, we speak with Alfred de Musset Kapini, one of our contractors, who has provided insight into his move to Ethiopia.
Where are you working currently?
I am working as an Implementation Manager in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) with Ericsson ET managing the Ethiotel project Rollout.
What was appealing about working in Addis Abeba?
The working environment really appealed to me. There is a professional approach to work which I enjoy, and people here have a very good work conscience. Overall, the general working environment here is very welcoming, respectable and it makes work enjoyable.
How would you describe your lifestyle where you are living and working? (e.g. food, culture, activities).
People reading this may be unaware of the infrastructure here in Addis Ababa, I would consider it very developed like most capital cities. However, like most developed cities, the daily traffic can be a frustrating – especially when you’re in a rush. I have two pieces of advice to deal with this. Firstly, have a relaxed attitude (it will save you getting stressed). Secondly, to get to a scheduled appointment on time give yourself an extra hour (or even 90 minutes) to deal with traffic.
The country is very touristy, especially Addis Ababa. In my experience African and historical values are well kept by locals. Despite the trouble Ethiopia faces in the Tigray region (north of the country), the capital Addis Ababa is over 600 miles away so anyone who is conscious of how safe Addis Ababa is, I would say it’s safe. Again, like all big cities you just need to be aware of your surroundings. Currently, businesses around the country are open – bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other activities are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no curfew and wearing a mask is mandatory.
The food here is delicious. The traditional food is Ox meat in barbecue with a kind of bread commonly called injera. However, there are plenty of other choices (western food), if traditional Ethiopian food isn’t for you.
What has been the biggest challenge for you in the location you are living and working?
The biggest challenge here is communication because the country is neither English nor French speaking. The language of communication here is Amharic which has its own alphabet and communicating with the ASP subcontractors can be a hard task because their level of English is minimal or sometimes non-existent. However, it is fun learning a new language and despite any communication barrier, we always manage to find a solution in the end.
What has been the best thing about where you are?
As I said before, what is to be appreciated here is the working environment and the professionalism of the local teams.
What advice would you give to anyone relocating to your location?
Any person wishing to work in Ethiopia will be welcome with open arms. My only advice would be to have a professional approach to work as telecommunication operators can be very demanding, which requires a level of excellence and respect of values, norms and rules of professionalism. I would definitely recommend working here.