UNDP : Brain drain and exodus of qualified Africans (dgAlert / UNDP)

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dgAlert for Aid Effectiveness


Africa: Brain Drain Costs Continent $4bn Annually – UNDP

United Nations Development Programme has said brain drain has cost the African continent over $4 billion in the employment of 150,000 expatriate professionals annually. UNDP Administrator, Kemal Deris, said at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 11th African Regional Meeting, that since 1990, Africa has been losing 20,000 professionals every year “300,000 professionals reside outside Africa. Ethiopia lost 75 per cent of its skilled workforce between 1980 and 1991. This large exodus of qualified Africans is a huge burden on the African economy. African institutions are increasingly dependent on foreign expertise. “To fill the human resource gap created by brain drain, Africa employs up to 150,000 expatriate professionals at a cost of $4 billion a year. Coupled with the loss of trained professionals due to HIV/AIDS, brain drain erodes the valuable human capital critically needed for economic growth and human development,” Deris said.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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