Edition 80 - December 2007

The African diaspora

On 21-25 October the Association of African Universities organised its Conference of Rectors, Vice-Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP) in Tripoli, Libya.  The conference was wholly devoted to the issue of brain drain, or rather “Managing the Brian Drain:  Working with the Diaspora.”    Even if one cannot get the expatriates to return to the African continent for the time being, one could find the ways and means to establish partnerships with expatriate scientists.  The World Bank has followed up on  the issue and on 30 November held a conference in Washington D.C. with over 200 representatives of African professionals based in the US and Canada.  The World Bank announced that it will collaborate with the African Union to establish a Diaspora Remittances Development Fund to finance activities similar to the ones existing in Latin America.  

“More than a third of Africa’s highly qualified human resources are presently in the Diaspora.  Studies show that the most educated Africans increasingly opt not to return to the continent and stay in their host country after completion of their studies,” according to the World Bank newsletter. 

The ongoing deliberations between EU and the African Union, the latest in Lisbon 7-9 December, as far as we can determine, do not touch on such issues.

World Bank

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