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 Brain Drain to Brain Gain (Emeagwali)

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Date d'inscription : 21/08/2006

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MessageSujet: Brain Drain to Brain Gain (Emeagwali)   Brain Drain to Brain Gain (Emeagwali) EmptyLun 15 Juin 2009 - 15:46

H o w D o We R e v e rs e t h e Br a i n Dr a i n ?

Keynote speech by Emeagwali delivered on October 24, 2003, at the Pan-
African Conference on Brain Drain, Elsah, Illinois USA. The entire transcript, letters and photos
are posted at
Permission to reproduce is granted.

Thank you for the pleasant introduction as well as for inviting me to share my thoughts on turning .brain drain. into .brain

For 10 million African-born emigrants, the word .home. is synonymous with the United States, Britain or other country
outside of Africa.

Personally, I have lived continuously in the United States for the past 30 years. My last visit to Africa was 17 years ago.
On the day I left Nigeria, I felt sad because I was leaving my family behind. I believed I would return eight years later,
probably marry an Igbo girl, and then spend the rest of my life in Nigeria.

But 25 years ago, I fell in love with an American girl, married her three years later, and became eligible to sponsor a Green Card
visa for my 35 closest relatives, including my parents and all my siblings, nieces and nephews.
The story of how I brought 35 people to the United States exemplifies how 10 million skilled people have emigrated out of
Africa during the past 30 years. We came to the United States on student visas and then changed our status to become permanent residents and then naturalized citizens. Our new citizenship status helped us sponsor relatives, and also inspired our friends to immigrate here.

Ten million Africans now constitute an invisible nation that resides outside Africa. Although invisible, it is a nation as
populous as Angola, Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe. If it were to be a nation with distinct borders, it would have an income roughly equivalent to Africa.s gross domestic product.

Although the African Union does not recognize the African Diaspora as a nation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
acknowledges its economic importance. The IMF estimates the
African Diaspora now constitutes the biggest group of foreign
investors in Africa.

Take for example Western Union. It estimates that it is not atypical for an immigrant to wire $300 per month to relatives in
Africa. If you assume that most Africans living outside Africa send money each month and you do the math, you will agree with
IMF that the African Diaspora is indeed the largest foreign investor in Africa. What few realize is that Africans who immigrate to the United States contribute 40 times more wealth to the American than to the African economy. According to the United Nations, an African professional working in the United States contributes about $150,000 per year to the U.S. economy. Again, if you do the math, you will realize that the African professional remitting $300 per month to Africa is contributing 40 times more to the United States economy than to the African one.

On a relative scale, that means for every $300 per month a professional African sends home, that person contributes
$12,000 per month to the U.S. economy.

Of course, the issue more important than facts and figures is eliminating poverty in Africa, not merely reducing it by sending
money to relatives. Money alone cannot eliminate poverty in Africa, because even one million dollars is a number with no
intrinsic value.

Real wealth cannot be measured by money, yet we often confuse money with wealth. Under the status quo, Africa would
still remain poor even if we were to send all the money in the world there...

Continue reading here..

let us apply this reasoning to Haiti and its dispora...are the stats telling a similar story ?
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