Brain Drain Not Entirely Bad For Ghana – Mahama

Former President John Mahama has said although the outflow of professionals and technocrats from the country to the diaspora can be disadvantageous to the economic growth of Ghana, it is not entirely bad since it has certain benefits, too.

On the contrary, Mr. Mahama believes Ghanaians living abroad make significant contributions to the economy in diverse ways.

Speaking at the 40th-anniversary Dinner Dance of Ghana Union UK on Saturday, 26 October 2019, Mr. Mahama, who is also the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress in next year’s elections stated that Ghanaians living abroad transfer knowledge, especially in ICT, from advanced countries to Ghana.

“The talk has been on the brain drain our economy suffers when, especially, the professionals and technocrats we train leave to advance economies like the UK. That is true but let me also recognize the benefits your sojourn abroad example here in the UK has contributed in terms of technology and knowledge-transfer, investments and various sectors of our economy.

“There are many successful businesses in Ghana today with huge investments that were incubated abroad. The ideas for these businesses came from the work experiences, education and social engagements of our citizens in the diaspora.

“As Minister of Communication in the late 90s, I had the privilege of being involved in the transformation of our telecommunication sector in order to make it responsive to the fast-evolving technologies in the ICT sector. At that vantage point, it was easy to know the vast number of diaspora Ghanaians who returned with new startups in the ICT sector. Internet cafes, data, and software companies were set up by returnee Ghanaians who had imbibed the new technologies from the countries in which they had lived. Up to date, many of the leading software and data companies are owned by Ghanaians who once sojourned abroad, so, the outflow of human capital has, therefore, not been entirely disadvantageous to our country,” Mr. Mahama stated.

Mr. Mahama also commended the leadership of the Ghana Union UK and Ireland on the occasion of their 40th anniversary, noting that remittances from Ghanaians living abroad amounted to $3.8 billion in 2018.