This paper analyses individual pathways of Angolan commissioned officers educated in Portugal, focusing specifically on their return to their country of origin and on the features of their reinsertion in the professional life. It aims at contributing to the discussion of anthropological theories of mobility and migration, discussing issues of qualification and circulation of ‘brains’ between developed and developing countries. The analysis is based on quantitative and qualitative data obtained by conducting desk and field research. Before focusing on the strategies of these migrants returning to Angola and on the forms of (re)inclusion they mobilise particularly under the designation of ‘Portuguesinhos’, the article describes the multiple combined influences brought by the formal training and by the diverse individual learning processes triggered by the stay abroad. It starts with an introduction to migration and higher education in Africa, highlighting the characteristics of ‘brain’ circulation and then describes the changes that the Angolan police went through in the last decades, providing the background for the analysis of the types of training and policing models involved and in processes of transformation. Return to Angola after training abroad involves dealing with a changing society emerging from war, where presently there is a combination of models and types of training and performance in the specific police activity. This calls for the elaboration of strategies to deal simultaneously with the individual, the organisational and the societal conditions and consequently provides an important viewpoint of the processes of transformation of the Angolan society and institutions.
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