Conflict and unrest drive African brain drain


Source: Reuters

March 30 2004 at 10:33AM

Addis Ababa - African experts blamed civil unrest and conflict for driving people from their home countries, saying on Monday that governments should encourage skilled migrants to return and stop Africa's "brain drain".

"Continued migration is expected to get worse as demands in developed countries grows for skilled manpower and African governments will have to take more effective management policies to arrest the exodus," said the experts, meeting in Ethiopia under the auspices of the African Union.

The two-day meeting is intended to draft a policy framework that would help in reducing the numbers leaving African states, including encouraging countries to adopting favourable employment policies to attract skilled people.

About 175 million people, or three percent of the world's population, live outside the country where they were born, while migrant workers repatriate about $88-billion per year in earnings, according to recent United Nations data.

The African Union aims to address development on a continent scarred by conflict in many of its states, including Liberia, Burundi, Sudan, Somalia, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.