In recent times, brain drain has been a topic of discussion for scholars who endeavor to find out what literally prompts the trend, its effects, and, most significantly, solutions to this hot trend. Claim Your List Of 10 African Books To Read.
The trend has been affixed in the academic sphere, hoping to enlighten youths on how badly it has impacted the African economy. But is the question is; can brain drain ever stop if all hands are put on the desk to halt the trend? The answer is no!
What are the Impacts Of Brain Drain On the African Economy?
Since the beginning of time, migration has been occurring and reoccurring. This substantial migration of people from country A to country B takes its root in the first mass exodus that occurred thousands of years ago when the homo sapiens started commuting from Africa to some parts of Asia and Europe. Signifying that humans being have and will always continue to migrate.
Another exodus, known as the Jewish migration, took place were about 850,000 Jews fled from the Muslim world to different places in Europe and America.
Aside from these palpable migrations of people from one country to another, people still move from place to place within the same country, and this shows that restricting people from emigrating from their country to another is far from possible.
Some factors certainly induce this substantial migration, namely, socioeconomic factors, financial problems, and political repression, to mention a few.
Although it’s not only Africans that embark on this substantial migration, from its looks, Africans partake more migrating from their home countries since the twenty-first century, bereaving the source countries of skilled and qualified professionals, as well as stunting the economic growth of many African countries.
It’s undeniable that brain drain has some potential benefits like inflow of remittances, transfer of skills and knowledge, facilitation of bilateral trade, etc. Brain drain impacts more negatively on the African economy, and this article dives deeper to divulge some of the negative impacts the phenomenon brain drain leaves on the African economy.
Rise In Dependency Ratio
Looking at it from a different angle, these migrants aiming to make ends meet by scouring for greener pastures in developed countries are those within the 18-59 age bracket, which are literally the labor force needed to fill up the labor market and partake in production and distribution processes.
As most African countries suffer this loss of a vibrant population, the economy tends to diminish which results from not having enough people who can engage in various economic activities except the aging population that contributes little to nothing to the economy.
Consequent to the flight of the vibrant population, only the aging population remains, and this obviously means the dependency ratio on the government will increase.
The country’s GDP will depreciate, and the more the government continues to spend on the aging population, the weaker the economy becomes due to a lack of revenue.
Decrease In Income Tax
Tax is, of course, the government’s revenue source—for instance, income taxes in Nigeria clock at 24%, which aids in boosting government finances.
What happens when these income taxes are not paid?
As inscribed above, Nigeria alone makes 24% from income tax, which means that the government’s fiance will depreciate when income taxes are not paid. We can attest this is already happening.
Nigeria has about 15 million diasporans; if these people stay back in the country and partake in tax payments, the government’s income tax revenue will definitely increase.
This exposes reasons why African governments make little revenues that would have been used for development projects.
Dropping Of Quality Service
Africa suffers an acute shortage of able manpower in critical sectors like education, health, science, etc., which warrants the decrease in quality of service due to a lack of skilled professionals that would work in these sectors.
Most African countries like Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Uganda have the highest population in the medical field and are lacking today as these skilled individuals flee from their country for better pay abroad.
The shortages of labor in the medical field warrant an increase in mortality rate- the population that could have contributed to the economic activities.
Also, the migration of academics led to a depletion in the quality of education- which is precisely another possible means to transfer knowledge to the younger generation.
Loses Of Potential Entrepreneurs
Taking risks and hardworking is a must habit every entrepreneur should adopt; however, this constant human capital flight has bereaved Africa its daring youths that, without doubt, would have endeavored to take risks.
If these migrants had stayed back in their countries, they would have established businesses contributing to economic growth.
It Reduces People’s Confidence In The Economy
Most Africans flee from their home countries due to the decline in their countries’ economies. The effects of colonialism and imperialism in Africa affected Africa’s economy.
However, as Africans are trying to recover from these effects, the colonizers now indirectly milk Africa’s resources which most scholars refer to as neo-colonialism.
Consequent to this seeming deterioration of Africa’s economy, the professionals always aspire to flee their country to the countries of the West, which they believe have a stable economy because of their lack of confidence in their home country’s economy.
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