n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - Between a rock and a hard place : fight brain drain or enjoy remittances : the case of Sub-Saharan Africa

Volume 9 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534



The increasing rate of brain drain in Sub-Saharan Africa has devastated the ability of many states to pursue objectives related to socio-economic development as they lack the needed human capital to do so. Poverty, Conflict and political intolerance are factors identified as contributing to brain drain in SSA. However, on a positive note, the region has also seen an increase in remittance flows, which have proven to be a lifeline for many families. While the principal objective of this paper is to shed light on the effects of brain drain in SSA it also sheds light on the important role that has been played by remittances to SSA. Therefore, using a strict analysis of the relevant literature related to brain drain in SSA, the study uncovered that brain drain had robbed SSA of vital skills which are essential for development and governments have failed to respond to the threat on brain drain. On the other hand, the region has seen a huge influx of remittances which has become a lifeline for governments in terms of contributing to state budgets, however, having skilled professionals in an economy is more beneficial than remittances, hence the urgent need to reduce brain drain rather than depending on remittances. The study concludes that SSA is stuck between a rock and a hard place as there are no clear cut policies that detail how to reduce brain drain in the region, yet regional governments have been enjoying the huge influx of remittances. The study concluded that brain drain ought to be dealt with as it poses a serious threat to development despite the region receiving millions in remittances.

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