While Africa and other developing countries are training more researchers and scientists, they do not easily find jobs in their countries of origin. This continues to feed into the South-North migration of graduates, leading to a massive the brain drain. The trend is not helped by the fact that many African graduates who train in the developed countries do not return to their countries of origin.
On the other hand, remittances by the African Diaspora represent a rising source of finance for the continent and holds immense potential as a source of economic growth and development.
A recent study conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the World Bank shows that remittance flows into Africa reached US $40 billion in 2010 and have quadrupled since 1990.
The African Diaspora currently account for 2.6 percent of Africa’s GDP, a figure that in some countries equals or even exceeds both foreign direct investment and aid.
Nigeria alone received $21 billion as remittance in 2012 thereby making her the highest recipient of remittance in Africa. The remittance was more than the Official Development Aid (ODA) the country had received in recent times.
A UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization study, UNESCO 2010 Science Report, estimates that at least a third of African researchers are working abroad.
The report cites data in a British study in 2008, which shows that out of 59 million migrants living in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, 20 million were highly qualified.
Statistics on Africa’s brain drain show the following: since 1990, Africa has been losing 20,000 professionals annually; over 300,000 professionals reside outside Africa; Ethiopia lost 75% of its skilled workforce between 1980 and 1991; it costs US$40,000 to train a doctor in Kenya (US$15,000 for a university student) and 35% of total ODA to Africa is spent on expatriate professionals.