My thought on Africa's brain drain

Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are the top 4 countries in the world suffering from a massive brain drain according to this article https://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2011/07/10-countries-facing-the-biggest-brain-drain/

This trend is unlikely to take a nosedive as more Africans say they plan to move to another country within five years, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2018.

Apparently in Nigeria alone, nearly half (45%) of adults say they plan to move to another country in the next 5 years. Ouch.

That would be a heavy loss for Nigeria.

But, would it?

Here’s the way I see it.

I think it’s great that Africans can travel around the world and learn from the very best. I sometimes feel like that’s the journey I’m on.

It’s splendid that Africans are contributing to the innovation and economic development of other countries.

But. I also stand by the conviction that only African excellence can TRULY solve Africa’s problems.

So, I think it’d be a win-win for African governments if we strategically place companies in key “hotspots” to attract African talents and solve for Africa.

Let me put it this way. Is it a brain drain if Africans in the diaspora are solving for Africa and sending billions (USD) back home?

I think not!

One of the driving forces behind Zazuu is to solve one of Africa’s biggest problems using African excellence.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think Africa is suffering from brain drain? Or do you see an opportunity?

Hello Kay,
I hear what you are saying but brain drains leads to the growth of economies other than the economies professionals leave. The dependence on money being sent home for survival is not good for anyone - particularly as the taxed income improves the infrastructures of other countries. Infrastructure is fundamental for the growth of an economy (education, healthcare for healthy workforce, roads and trainlines for movement of goods etc). Also, I would personally not want to be dependent on reciving money, even from loved ones, to allow me to be able to live my life. So the governments of these countries need to invest in the growth of their economies to ensure there are sufficient jobs for graduates and that their workforce contributeds to the growth of their own economies and maintained infrastructure. Learning from the best is what we all want but the best are also found in Africa - a non-African education does not equate to being the best (see the leaders of said countries).
The ability to efficiently send money home for personal or business use is very welcome but it does not replace the need for us to improve our own economies and infrastructures.
Best wishes
Ijeoma

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Hey Ijeoma,

First, I want to say welcome to our community and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I wholeheartedly agree that the best of Africa is in Africa. And I would add that they are also in the diaspora too. Plenty of them.

You are right that the dependency on remittances for economic support is not the ideal. And our government should do more to improve infrastructure, create an enabling environment for real economic growth, and support its citizens.

Unfortunately, those ideals are not the reality of today. So one question to ask is, how do we bend reality to our advantage?

I believe Africans both at home and abroad can bend reality and work together to solve some of the issues you’ve highlighted above.