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Africa is losing as much as US$4 billion a year because its highly skilled workers are moving abroad for jobs, according to a leading Ethiopian economist.

Dejene Aredo of Addis Ababa University says that 20,000 professionals a year leave Africa to work in developed countries.

This 'brain drain' is stalling the continent's development, he says. "It is a problem, because there is a huge deficit of manpower in developing countries," he told the IRIN news agency.

Aredo calls on African governments to restrict the flow of educated migrants, and says that Western countries should pay compensation for drawing the best talent away from developing countries.

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