Never mind the “Brain Drain”

A nice article on the BBC news website last weekend talking, not about the millions of Africans leaving the continent for opportunities in the West, but the ones returning home:

Across nine African countries and a journey of 7,000 miles from Mali to South Africa, from Ghana to Ethiopia, the story was often the same. Africans were returning from working or studying abroad either for patriotic reasons or because of the growing opportunities back home.

The article quotes a report by the International Organisation for Migration that states,

“Of the more than 1.1 million Ghanaians who left the country between 2000-2007, only 153,000 did not return either temporarily or permanently.”

People often ask me why I came back to Africa after studying in the U.S. Most of the time I tell them I couldn’t live without sunshine and mangoes, but that’s only partly the truth. The fact is that there is a wealth of opportunity for dynamic, creative, skilled and entrepreneurial young Africans in the developing markets on the continent.

Still, the IOM report makes particular mention of Ghana, which is hailed for its political and economic stability in comparison to other African countries. Young Ghanaians are more likely to want to go home than say, young Somalis.

To all my Africans in the West, trying to get theirs, come back home soon. We miss you

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3 thoughts on “Never mind the “Brain Drain”

  1. I came back for the sun too!! AND the sadness is that I am sooo proud of saying that too.
    People do not understand the importance of our sunshine cherie… it was only when I lived in Canada for 4 years that I realized that the sun made me .. even our continent, to sound more bold.
    It’s okay .. let it make me darker and burn my skin.. let me sweat like a pig when the temperature gets close to 40 degrees. It’s fine.The matter of the fact is without this same sunshine, Africa would not have been the best place on planet earth!!! 😉

  2. These claims are still very subjective because the real issue is whether or not opportunities are available to you the individual. In some situations a person has to balance patriotism with whether or not to create the type of life for yourself and your family that you always dreamt about.

  3. If I could re-draw that cartoon, Africa would be handing over her brain and a bag of cash in aid-repayment.
    I’m happy for the Ghanaians, and I miss family that’s abroad. But would I encourage them to come back after uni? To potholes and powercuts and rotting governments and daily strikes/ riots and hiked-up fuel prices?? I don’t know.

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