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African students of Oxford discuss 'brain drain'

African students of Oxford discuss 'brain drain'

North America

African students of the business school of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom this weekend talked brain drain.

The discussion centered on the phenomenon and what it means for the African continent. It formed part of the Oxford Business Forum Africa.

Brain drain has become a growing concern with analysts saying that the continent is hardest hit with thousands of students going to Europe and North America each year.

Every time we talk about our continent, we talk about a continent that is regressing not because it was doomed but probably because all the talent is somewhere in Europe or somewhere in the US.

This phenomenon deprives Africa of its best assets, it’s been suggested.

“We’ve got this brain drain, right, where the guys that are meant to be having these conversations, who are meant to be helping us deal with the rand that’s plummeting, and who are meant to be shaping South Africa’s future, or Africa’s future for that matter, are somewhere in Europe, helping the pound thrive or somewhere in the US, helping that thrive.

“Every time we talk about our continent, we talk about a continent that is regressing not because it was doomed but probably because all the talent is somewhere in Europe or somewhere in the US,” Vuyane Mhlomi, PhD student at the University of Oxford said.

Although the number of African graduates who choose to return home has increased over the period, adapting to local conditions remains a challenge.

“What struck me most about working internationally was the advancement and all the good things, the amazing things that you see and what’s a shame about going back home is not seeing the same things. So I would actually want to be able to go back home but what frustrates me is not being made aware of the opportunities that are back home as well,” Ruvimbo Nyangoni, MBA student at the Said Business School in Oxford said.

A 2013 study by Jacana Africa Private Equity says 70% of African graduates prefer to return to work in their home country.