It is argued here that one of the veiled negative consequences of the current financial crisis on African economies is the reduced opportunities for Africans to acquire skills abroad. This paper begins by noting that brain circulation, where Africans leave for abroad to acquire training and skills and return to their home countries, has potential benefits to many sub-Saharan African nations. The paper then reviews some of existing and possible future legislation in the Western world, particularly the European Union and the United States, and ties these back to the question of skills and knowledge creation by the returned skilled migrants.
The case is then made that one of the possible harmful effects of the financial crisis is the inhibition of this flow of skills and knowledge. Estimates are provided on the numerical values of the movements involved.