The Spurt! Consultant Pool acknowledges the reality of expatriation and enables African professionals to give back
Every day, Africa loses its best academics, scientists, doctors, nurses, technicians, amongst other sought-after professionals through a brain drain as they seek out better pay, more stability and sometimes just safety and well-being for themselves and their families. Last year for instance, in response to the mass murder and maiming of Nigerian citizens during a fateful EndSARS protest, Nigerian applications for asylum and residency in Canada skyrocketed.
As this World Economic Outlook report shows, brain drain is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa. In a January 2014 World Bank report, legal migrations out of Africa were shown to have doubled between 1980 and 2010 reaching 30.6 million. This represents around 3% of the continent’s total population. The global trend shows skilled professionals from developing countries migrating to fill the gaps in the labour market in developed countries.
The world’s youngest continent has approximately 10 to 12 million young Africans joining the labour force each year. Yet UN and World Bank data show that the continent is only able to create about 3 million jobs annually. With limited economic opportunities, many young Africans migrate to Europe, America and lately Asia in search of economic opportunities. Only a fraction of them have plans to return and even fewer will actually return.
For nations that have a limited pool of qualified individuals to begin with this loss of skilled workers has historically had negative repercussions for the continent’s economic development. This is true even if in some of these countries remittances from those who leave do outpace FDI and often replace defunct or non-existent safety nets. In fragile states like Nigeria and Somalia, remittances often make the difference in survival for those who are not connected.
Additionally, the migration of highly skilled and experienced workers comes at a high social cost creating an imbalance of expertise, knowledge and wisdom in African communities. The higher concentration of educated migrants in the diaspora in comparison to their counterparts in developing economies has real effects on the quality of young professionals nurtured in subsequent cohorts. As such, the departure of doctors and nurses from Malawi and Zimbabwe, or the departure of technical engineers and information technology experts from Nigeria and Kenya should not be taken lightly.
In 2015, the number of African-trained International Medical Graduates (IMGs) practising in the US alone reached 13,584 — a 27.1% increase from 2005. This is equivalent to about one African-educated physician migrating to the US per day over the last decade. The impact of brain drain is felt especially in the health and education sectors. It is estimated that Africa loses around $2 billion through brain drain in the health sector alone.
We are building an ecosystem to facilitate the growth of MSMEs and Early Stage Ventures
Fortunately, some African countries are taking intentional steps to attract talent back to the continent and specifically to their countries. Ghana’s excellently executed Year of Return in 2019 and Rwanda’s state-led efforts to hold on to its best and brightest have shown remarkable success.
When we founded Spurt! in 2016 on the premise of a remote working talent network, we did so in direct response to these trends. We know that critical to repatriating African talent to the continent is enabling these professionals to work from anywhere in the world in service of the continent.
African professionals can lend the skills and knowledge they have acquired to entrepreneurs and businesses on the continent without compromising their safety, emotional well being and prospects.
By joining the Spurt! Consultant Pool, a dynamic consortium of professionals keen to collaborate with African entrepreneurs you can help us build more efficient, more productive and more strategic African businesses capable of creating prosperity for all rather than a fortunate or connected few.
At the core of Spurt!’s practice is our mission to build an ecosystem that connects talented and experienced African professionals working and living across the globe to small and or emerging African companies. We are looking for professionals to join our movement — sign up for the solution!