• The unseen, supportive hand of governments in uplifting brain drain

    An afternoon skim through most of the tabloids, national newspapers and magazines dedicated to informing Africans is met with an avalanche of adverts by companies promising heaven on earth for the youths that are ready to embrace the job opportunities proclaimed therein. This act of self-exaltation by companies takes an even more ambitious attempt to attract African youths by going to the television media houses and radio stations. I read a story in a national newspaper owned by a third world African country (name withheld), joyfully reporting a job-availing deal that had been inked between Saudi Arabia and the nation owning the newspaper. According to the deal, some of the overwhelming numbers of the nation’s graduates were to go to Saudi Arabia to work as maids, gardeners, home teachers etc. It is further bewildering to see that the agreement was signed by and in the presence of top profile citizens of that nation i.e. the minister for gender, the commissioner for contracts and negotiations in the ministry of justice together with the respective ambassadors. Could this be how African governments have started orchestrating and supporting a new kind of brain drain? This is just one of the numerous examples where brain drain has taken on a new twist, out there in Africa.

    What has triggered this relentless hunt by these obviously determined companies? The cause is the Africans’ new style of dreaming and setting goals. Talk to majority of the youths nowadays be it in east and central Africa, south Africa and west Africa, they will tell you how their dream is to work “abroad” at any cost! This relentlessly fueled pursuit by Africans, to work where they claim to exist greener pastures, has attracted the avalanche of adverts we see in the media. The companies, whose intentions are highly subjective to an authentication exercise, take advantage of this youths’ hunger and then present their remedy. This is as if the youths’ prayers are being answered. Some youths do not wait for the adverts, but invest their all in visas and plane tickets, to run after what they deem to be greener pastures, abroad. This mode of exhibiting desire for something is rather a relentless and ambitious one because it absorbs all the senses of the participant in the pursuit.  

    Watering our fodder is all we need to do

    With all due respect to the people who have gone out hunting for what they call greener pastures and ended up finding them, I must say that the end to brain drain begins with Africans asking themselves what I have dubbed the multimillion-dollar question. That is, “I’m I my true self? Or I’m I my illusionary desires?” Such a food for thought will awaken a sense of purpose among Africans, a purpose that will not only transform Africa but also transform the one who thinks about it. More still, government policy plans should have a revolutionary structure to cause a life time positive impact on the citizens. The policies can, and should involve intentions to cause a mass awakening of people’s mindsets on prevailing global issues such that the people become participants in the problem solving with their governments. The people could synthesize remedies say to unemployment, that are different from running away from the “brown pastures”. This kind of arrangement can be likened to watering our fodder so that it sprouts and we feed on its green forage. Above all, Africans need to escape the comfort of the illusion that greener pastures are elsewhere by instilling revolutionary and developmental ideas amongst themselves. Let elsewhere (abroad) be for purposes of touring and grounds for sowing our rich ideology.

    (Image Credit: The Economist)