Africa's brain gain

March 24, 2006

A World Bank report has urged governments in Africa to resist the idea that expansion of higher education exacerbates the brain drain problem, reports Wachira Kigotho in Nairobi.

David Bloom, professor of economics and demography at Harvard University, who led the research, says 50,000 African-trained PhD holders from the region are working abroad. The situation is critical in central, eastern and western Africa where countries have lost more than 30 per cent of graduate manpower to international labour markets.

Higher Education and Economic Development in Africa says that increased rates of higher education generate public and private economic growth through public and private channels.

"Private benefits for individuals are rooted in better employment prospects, higher salaries and ability to invest," says Professor Bloom in the report.

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