Fellow on-lookers, stakeholders and donors of Education in Africa. The theme of this maiden welcome and launch of DIANA ry is “Reversing and demystifying Brain Drain in the new normal era through the African Diaspora”. DIANA (Diaspora Academic Network for Africa) is looking at the future, thus avoids to take the reader back to the normal narratives about the effects of brain drain to Africa’s development; how there are many more Nigerian Medical Doctors in the United Kingdom of 68 million than in Nigeria of 200 million people. DIANA ry believes you want to hear something new because the negative and positive effects of brain drain and brain gain are respectively well known. This novelty can only be found in the background and motivations behind the creation of DIANA ry. DIANA ry will wants to have the evidence base of every decision it takes. To this regards, DIANA ry’s is still to complete a study (stopped due to insufficient resources), at least in the case of Europe, which is showing that some of the well-educated, brilliant and gifted Africans who emigrated to Europe in the past 30 years have not been adequately integrated, professionally. Many of theAfrican Ph.D. graduates are not in careers which they studied for, are under employed. Many go into lower skill demanding jobs (taxi driving, cleaning, food distribution, open grocery shops etc). Others switched to Nursing (for which they did not intend initially) because of job stability or pay. A few of the Ph.Ds. are actually covered under the social welfare schemes of their countries. Some are in the academia but lacked career and Professional stability; short and fix contracts, are often in and out of the academia. We asked this question: Why this waste, given experience that I once met a department in an African University where the most qualified was a master degree holder and the majority of the staff were Bachelor Degree holders. When I reported to a Ugandan colleague he fondly laughed and called it “peer teaching”. However, as a matter of fact, a majority of the doctorates and master degree holders in the diaspora express they will like to live in the countries where they are because x and y is not in Africa, or if b or c changes in their African countries, they will return (see publication hereafter). We therefore concluded that “why don’t all Africans stay where they live and work for Africa” at a distance, teach and engage in research collaboration remotely and visit to support Africa of knowledge where and when necessary. In point of fact, technology nowadays has made it possible to invigilate examinations from a distance.
Dear African education donors,
At the dawn of the covid19, a lot of partnerships have been built and funds mobilised for education in Africa. However, much have been oriented to basic and secondary education and very little on higher education in Africa. Africa’s socio-economic and technological transformation cannot only rely on the basic and secondary education. Higher education could transform the different MDGs. We recently argued at the Science Summit, 76 UNGA that Universities are involved in all the SDG. Investment to spur the African intellectual diaspora contribute to Africa knowledge economy is timely. This isa good initiative to put your money in!!. It is politically correct for a just global knowledge economy, balanced globalisation and equal brain circulation.
Permit me thank all those who contributed to build and launch this initiative but above all, the wonderful team members who volunteered or are recruited to kick start DIANA ry in the major European and American cities as well as our local representatives and ambassadors in Africa.
Long Live Global Partnership, Long live the African Intellectual Diaspora, Long Live DIANA ry.
DIANA ry is finally here to facilitate the involvement of African intellectual diaspora in remote teaching and research collaboration as well as contact activities with African universities and research organisations.