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Africa's "best and brightest" have a key role to play in Africa's development and efforts must be made to bring them back to the continent said Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel prize for literature.

He was speaking at the African Development Bank Group's Sixteen Eminent Speakers Programme in Tunis, Tunisia, last month (25 October).

Such brain gain programmes should be deliberate and well planned, he said. Good salaries alone will not be enough without also providing an enabling environment for professionals to work in.

Soyinka added that development aid is a donation to the people not their leaders. Good governance is an essential element for development, and dictatorships are a crime, he told the media after his lecture. Returning intellectuals need an honest working environment if they are to help create genuine development.

Positive efforts to improve the continent's development made so far by African intellectuals at home and abroad are valued but, he argued, efforts should continue until "prosperity, equity and peace were fully realised on the continent".

Link to full report at African Development Bank Group