Tuesday, 20 November 2012

it's not brain drain....its just drain

a friend of mine thinks he has no business being in africa. his goal in life is to make it to america and never come back. if all goes as planned, his son will be the next obama (though not as smart…trust me)
this is commonly referred to as brain drain.....but for brain drain to occur there has to be a brain involved. am not saying my friend is stupid, but let's examine the facts

who in their right mind would go outside africa to look for money?

if you are to look at the list of africa’s wealthiest people, six of the top ten are self-made and none of those six amassed his wealth through being under-employed in a foreign land i.e. “doing kyeyo“ if you prefer to put it so glamorously

even when you narrow it down to uganda, bad black aside, the same thing applies: sudhir ruparelia left uk in 1986 without a million to his name but amassed all his wealth in uganda. geoffrey kirumira can't even spell the word kyeyo (yeah I know it’s a luganda word). patrick bitature on the other hand went to the uk to study, but he didn't end up marrying some overweight briton in her late thirties just so he could legally over stay his welcome, he came back and made his wealth in uganda

i know an argument can be made that there is more money abroad than in africa. but this doesn’t hold much water if you consider the fact that three of the most valuable companies on earth (exxon, petro-china and walmart) have to come to africa to make money and the remaining two (microsoft and apple) can’t afford to ignore africa’s potential any longer

in other words we struggle so much to go abroad to make money when the people abroad have to come to africa to make money so they can pay our wage for keeping their toilets spotlessly clean

i am not ready to admit that my friend is brainless, so let’s entertain the idea that theft is more lucrative when you are abroad in a bid to redeem his dignity

no self-respecting thief will claim that the grass is greener abroad. if you’ve been following the gavi funds scandal, the opm accounting scandal, the chogm funds scandal, the national identity card project…….generally if you have ever followed current affairs in uganda for at least a day, you know it for a fact that theft isn’t only more lucrative in uganda, the president gives thieves medals on hero’s day

maybe it’s the fact that america is more developed than uganda in so many aspects

this makes sense, for a second, before you consider the fact that america too was once poor. we should also consider the fact that it didn’t become wealthy through americans migrating to england to be street performers. china too was once poor by first world standards but no one credits its economic success to remittances from racially abused immigrants                              
and if you decide to ignore our narcoleptic inclination, you’ll find that we have more potential than both 18th century america and 20th century china
awwkay, may be the fact that he is a professional can help us put the “brain” back together with the “drain”

not all africans who go abroad are half baked and unskilled, actually many are well trained professionals (who should know better)
according to the international organization for migration, africa has been losing 20,000 professionals each year since 1990
the sad part is, the continent is losing the very people it needs most for economic, social, scientific, and technological progress. case in point, 38 of the 47 sub-saharan african countries fall short of the minimum world health organization standard of 20 physicians per 100,000 people
to fill the human resource gap created by the exodus of the professionals, africa employs up to 150,000 expatriate professionals at a cost of US$4 billion a year. when you add this to the billions of dollars african countries spend every year training professionals who end up practicing abroad and you will catch a glimpse of the intellectual horse power or lack of it, of these migrating professionals

i give up

the foreigners on the other hand, see africa for the gold mine that it is. they leave the countries we risk our lives to get into and come to africa, setting up companies that that exploit our minerals and tap into our growing market. through this, they make more money than that any immigrant would ever dream of and they do so with their dignity intact

yes i know the the situation in africa makes it hard for one to stay home but if you keep spending time at the neighbour’s house just because it’s better than yours, you’ll never fix your house.

1 comment:

  1. Hehe....nice one!.....I guess your friend just needs to learn the hard way..