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Economic Brief - Leveraging Human Capacity and Financing from the Diaspora - Volume 2 - Issue 1 - December 2011


It is estimated that Africa loses in excess of 70,000 skilled professionals annually to emigration, resulting in a huge human capacity deficit in the Continent.1 At the same time, the remittance inflows from Africa’s Diaspora have increased by 260 per cent in the last decade from US$11.2 billion in 2000 to almost US$40 billion in 2010. Thus, Africans’ emigration is at the center of a dilemma: should African governments encourage emigration to increase the remittances accruable from the Diaspora, as a response to the development financing deficit? Or should they put in place policies to reverse brain drain to reduce the chronic human capacity deficit? How should they strike a balance between the two objectives? This brief looks into this dilemma and makes some recommendations as to the mobilization of emigrants for the development of their countries of origin.

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