Thursday, June 12, 2008

Knowledge Drain in Africa ?

Blank map of AfricaImage via WikipediaJust some obvious thoughts.. Africa is huge (11,608,000 sq miles to be exact.. see more here). Its got huge economic problems.. Tell me, why would an educated scientist stay there ? Yes, in the long-run and on a larger scale, the economic and scientific power of Africa can be enormous, but it has yet to find its 'killer application' for the world market (what replication and continious improvement is in Japan, manufacturing power in China, innovation and engineering power in Europe).. what could it be for Africa ?

Africa Facing Brain Drain
The United Nations is increasingly worried about Africa's brain drain and has warned that it could have dire consequences for the continent. The continuous stream of its professionals to Europe and the Americas is affecting Africa's development and prosperity. "In 25 years, Africa will be empty of brains," warns Dr. Lalla Ben Barka of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. The exodus of highly trained individuals from developing African countries to industrialized nations is not a new phenomenon. However, the magnitude of the growing problem demands urgent action as the consequences of brain drain threaten to stunt the overall development of the continent. According to the International Organization for Migration, Africa has already lost one-third of its human capital and is continuing to lose its skilled personnel at an increasing rate. It is reported that there are now more African scientists in the United States than on the whole of the African continent. Africa's share of global scientific output has fallen from 0.5 percent in the mid-1980s to 0.3 percent in the mid-1990s.

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