Brain Drain Is one of the misfortunes Hailing Africa

Brain Drain Is one of the misfortunes Hailing Africa

Brain drain is very real. I have followed developments across Africa and the narrative seems to be the same. Young people are looking to emigrate from Africa and move to other countries abroad in search of greener pastures. Their loud cry points to neglect and abuse from their leaders. Again and again, the promise has been the same; choose us so we can create jobs for you.

Once the so-called leaders have been handed the mantle to lead, they soon get drunk with privilege and forget their promises. But do we blame them? For a fact, if the youth get the jobs, who will they use in subsequent elections to wreak havoc and what other narrative can they use other than the jobs one?

For decades, politics within the African continent have been built on deceit and manipulation. Elections have become so dynamic with the electorate at the centre of the chalice. Politicians understand far too well that as long as you keep the people locked in a turf of war against each other, you can take from them, and they will not notice a thing. Distraction is the old tactic in the reference book.

But they forgot one thing though, that it is possible to lie to people, yet it is impossible to lie to all the people all the time. The people are slowly becoming enlightened but the elephant in the room has been, at what cost?

Brain Drain as a Way Out

As more and more people realize they are being taken for a ride by their trusted leaders, the next plausible option has become to find a way out. And foolishly, the very leaders who need these people to build up their economies to catch up with the rest of the world encourage them to leave.

I have listened to Kenyans, for instance, being promised millions of Jobs outside the country and I am left to wonder, have we become products to be cheaply ‘hawked’ because we have become so successful to a point of saturation that we don’t need to build back here at home.

Well, the argument has been that foreign remittances are helping drive the economy forward, but again I am left to ask, is that the only angle to look at it from? I could be wrong, but I am sure of one thing, the rate at which we are losing the best of our best to the West and Asian countries is alarming. In the past, it was a form of slavery that was forced and condemned, but now that we have fashioned it, it is a matter of self-slavery.

In a better term or form, slavery seems to be even more formalized through the rallying call from leaders signing agreements with other countries to send thousands of their own to those countries to get jobs. What do you expect of people who worship their leaders blindly? Sometimes, they don’t even read in between the lines.

We keep hearing the rest of the world acclaiming Africa and Asia regarding the highly young population at her disposal. The talk has been that Africa will power the world in some years to come because of her young people. But the very young people are moving abroad in their massive numbers. Perhaps, they do return but when the best of their years has been fully spent creating value elsewhere. For them, home is a place to come and retire.

Brain Drain and Misery of Home Countries

Brain drain is a distress to Africa. Photo Courtesy of MO Ibrahim Foundation.

Home countries have been left to wallow in the perils of their misery. They keep languishing in the decisions of poor policies formulated by incompetent people governed by corruption and nepotism at the expense of the masses. The best minds that could have come to the aid of their economies are left to drain and all we do is what we have always done best, hail our sons and daughters working wonders out there. Why can’t we have them do those wonders at home?

But I am happy. The people are becoming clever, or so I think. They will wake one morning and leave (sound funny, yeah) and go where they can be appreciated because, at home, nobody is doing tangible things in support of their welfare. Wherever we are going, leaders have made it possible for those opportunities to exist.

What is hard that our leaders cannot make it possible that opportunities can be available locally? Why is it hard for our leaders to make the local environment favourable for locally available opportunities to thrive so that we can build our economies to catch up with the rest of the world instead of leaving? When will we ever have an opportunity to have other young people come to our countries because we have more opportunities than the supply of labour?

We are losing. We are dragging behind because of the brain drain. If someone is listening out there, we must do something about it. Otherwise, if nobody does anything about it, feel free to leave at any time, fellow continent men. It doesn’t matter where, just leave even if means going to space.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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