Recent research shows that a large proportion of African students who travel abroad for studies never return. Yet a sizeable number go on government scholarships.
Brain drain is a complicated issue. It has a negative impact because it involves a loss of vital resources and young people who have the energy to develop the country.
How can governments and the private sector keep or return their best and brightest to play a role in the development of their countries? I think our governments should put in place mechanisms to create job opportunities for young skilled people.
Over the years, there has been a significant increase in mobility, especially involving professionals working temporarily in other countries and students leaving their home countries to study abroad.
Some countries of origin have benefited from a return of those who had previously left to study or work overseas. Other countries have not.
In Rwanda, many of them return with the much needed skills and those who choose to remain contribute to their country’s economies in form of remittances.
Also, TOKTEN; Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals is yet another programme that was supported by UNDP to support socio-economic development through transfer of knowledge and technical know-how to Rwanda on the basis of voluntary short term service from highly qualified expatriate Rwandan Nationals from North-America and which has yielded results.
However, for these programmes to be sustainable, government needs to take them up in the event of lack of donor support.