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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 December 2006, 22:49 GMT
Brits abroad: Africa
The BBC asked Brits abroad to tell us why they decided to swap the UK for another country and what has kept them from returning.

Here, expats living in countries throughout Africa tell us their stories.


Ian Watson
NAME: Ian Wason
AGE: 26
WORKS: Managing Director of a mortgage brokers
LIVES: Cape Town, South Africa

I moved to Cape Town four years ago. The original plan was to stay here for a year, doing voluntary work helping people start their own businesses.

There are more opportunities for me in South Africa, so instead of going back to London, I set up a mortgage brokers. We have been running for two and a half years and are the largest independent mortgage brokers in South Africa.

I wake up every morning with a view of the sea, which almost always comes with sunshine.

For me, the best things in life are free - and accessible to everybody in Cape Town. Within 10 minutes walk of my office, I can be lying on the beach, playing tennis or climbing Table mountain.

But I do miss a good pint of bitter in a nice warm pub. I miss the atmosphere at football and rugby matches, and I miss the English countryside.


Philip Mitchell
NAME: Philip McMinn Mitchell
AGE: 38
WORKS: Accountant
LIVES: Uganda

We live in Kampala, which is on the edge of Lake Victoria. It is very green with rolling hills.

We moved here in 1996 with the intention of spending two years doing development work outside the UK. I was looking for a job in the developing world with accounting firms or NGOs. Uganda came up first as a firm offer, so we came here. I had never been to Africa before that.

Both me and my wife have fulfilling jobs. We live in a good environment for our family. Our Ugandan friends and neighbours have really helped us feel at home.

We miss our family and friends back in the UK, but they do visit. One thing I don't miss is the materialistic culture in the UK.


Dominic Johnson
NAME: Dominic Johnson
AGE: 40
WORKS: Teacher
LIVES: Cairo, Egypt

I work as a teacher at a British International School in Cairo. Before I left London twelve years ago, I was teaching at a very multicultural school. Lots of my colleagues left to teach abroad, so I wanted to do it myself.

I wanted to go to central Africa, since most of my pupils were from there. Egypt was meant to be a stop-over but I came to like it. I made new friends and learnt Arabic, so I decided to stay.

Cairo is a very interesting city to explore. It's got lots of history. There are all kinds of religious holidays throughout the year, both Muslim and Christian, and there's always this sense of expectation. It's not monolithic Islam, as people in the West imagine it to be. It's actually quite tolerant. Muslims would invite Christian friends to their religious festivities and vice versa.

I am not planning to go back to the UK at all. I visit my family once a year, but most of my friends are here now. My whole life revolves around Cairo.

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