A look into the Interplay between Migration patterns and Economic development in Africa Today.
The connection between migration flow in Africa and the economic condition of many of the continent’s nations is one whose consequences are very serious and therefore worth examining. These ramifications are consequential for both the home countries as well as the host countries (those that are the target of the migration.) This article briefly explores this relationship between migration flow and economics in Africa broadly.
Furthermore, we challenge the common perception of this relationship as being a simple cause and effect scenario (that only one thing is the cause of the other.) Instead the article argues that the relationship is much more complex and bi-directional. Migration has two primary components: emigration (leaving a place) and immigration (coming into a place).
For example, If I am starting from the U.S and going to Canada, I am emigrating FROM America and Immigrating INTO Canada. It’s a distinction of coming (Immigration) and Going (emigration).
Two terms, brain gain, and brain drain have been used to describe this flow of people to and from countries when analyzed from an economic development perspective.
Dr. Bennet Odunsi, a professor of public administration at Jackson State university defined the phenomenon of brain drain as “ The depletion of the intellectual or professional resources of a country or region through immigration”. Brain gain on the other hand has to do with the immigration of skilled workers and resources into a country. Various legitimate reasons influence this phenomenon of brain drain and conversely, brain gain.
Among these reasons, greater employment opportunities and prospects of increased quality of life are leading factors.
In the context of many African countries (although similar things happen in other lesser or underdeveloped countries) the lack of opportunities to make a comfortable living, even for skilled professionals, as well as inadequate infrastructures and funding systems for whole industries serve as push factors for people like say an educated university professor or entrepreneur to leave their home countries.
With such a phenomenon going on at a large enough scale, what can happen is that there arises a man-power deficiency, a term used by Dr. Odunsi.
In this situation, a demographic that is crucial in the development of an already underdeveloped region is forced to emigrate, leaving a population behind that has far fewer technical capabilities and skill to improve its economic condition.
As this happens to the home country, the target country sees a brain gain because of its ability to attract skilled workers and resources from other places. With this information in mind, it starts to become obvious how and why the connection between migration flow patterns and socioeconomic development of countries are highly influenced by each other.
Many of us have heard of the Chicken and egg metaphor. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, in the arena of economic development, the simple idea that people are motivated to immigrate to a country only because of the target country’s greater economic development is only a half of the story. One must go another step and realize that a country receiving many immigrants, especially those already skilled in one way or another, is the beneficiary of resources indispensable to its further development.
Keywords: Economic Development in Africa Today, Economic Development, Economic Development in Africa Today, African Crypto ,South Africa , Development , Africa , #economy #development #africa
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Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, 1996, pp. 193–214. JSTOR. Accessed 21 Sep. 2022.
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