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Diaspora, brain drain and return

This editorial article gives an overview of current perspectives on the brain drain in sub-Saharan Africa. The author reports on the resurgence of interest in the diaspora at the highest level, with the leaders of Nigeria, South Africa and the Ivory Coast intiating new projects aimed to tap into their citizens abroad.

Such initiatives aim to harness the potential represented by the diaspora in terms of the economic development of their home nations. This is partly through the creation of 'knowledge networks', but also through a growing awareness of members of the African diaspora who now see themselves as valuable elements of their home societies.

Despite these positive trends, the situation is deeper and more complex than might initially appear, not least because professionals are still reluctant to return to their native countries. The article suggests that it is necessary to "look beyond easy formulas to the real phenomena, in all their subtleties, which compose it".

 

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