BRAIN DRAIN POSES GREAT CHALLENGES TO INSTITUTIONS IN AFRICA—-AAU
As the four-day Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP 2023) ended in Windhoek, Namibia, the conference noted with concern that brain drain has been one of the greatest challenges facing educational and other institutions in Africa.
The conference whose theme was Advancing Excellence in African Higher Education’’ and under the auspices of Association of African Universities (AAU), had 16 sessions including the presentations of summary recommendations from all the sub- themes.
Presenting a jointly authored paper on mobilizing Africans in the Diaspora to support African Universities, Dr Abdulkarim Oloyede berated Academics sponsored abroad who are not returning home to give back to their country.
Oloyede, a Nigeria Diaspora and an Associate Professor with the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, listed causes of brain drain in Africa to include instability in African countries, poverty, lack of infrastructure for research and development and health care, lack of motivation, future consideration, commitments, marriage and job offers.
Educational institutions in Africa need to find a way of dealing with the situation. Africa needs to address brain drain syndrome in order to retain skilled workers, boost research capacity and knowledge production and socio-economic development’’, he stressed.
Other factors according to Acting Director, Centre for Research Development and in-house Training (CREDIT), University of Ilorin include challenges of diaspora exchange programs, limited funding, cultural and contextual differences, limited awareness and engagement, immigration and visa issues, sustaining long term collaborations, perception and biases and lack of institutional policy.
Oloyede recommended strengthen collaboration innovative ways, improve research and innovation ecosystems, develop attractive career opportunities, address socio economic challenges, diaspora engagement program, embrace digital technologies through ICT, digital mentoring, data sharing and collaboration on research, enhance institutional capacity, establish partnerships as well as establish strong alumni networks.
“Mobilizing Africans in the diaspora to support African Universities can bring significant benefits to both the institutions and the broader development of the continent’’, he submitted.
Contributing to the discussion, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa emphasized on the importance of the Diasporas to national development recommending the Nigeria model with over 17 million in the Diaspora and $22 billion annual remittances.
Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke through the Commission’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun stressed the need for Africa countries to have a Commission, Agency or Ministry solely for Diaspora Affairs to be able to harness the potentials of African Diaspora.
In his closing remarks, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, Secretary -General of Association of African Universities stressed the need that the conference had resolved that it will work towards advancing excellence in all ramifications especially in African higher education using its human and natural resources.