Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ghanaian Brain Drain

The greatest resource Ghana has is educated people. It is also the one that they consistently lose to foreign countries. Despite the recent events in Ferguson, NYC, and other places the US is still the number one choice of countries for Ghanaians to live in. Almost every Ghanaian I have ever talked to has said they would prefer to live in the US than Africa. The main reason all 26 million people have not left Ghana to live in the US is that the US embassy here denies the vast majority of applicants visas. But, among the highly educated minority of Ghanaians with PhDs or MDs a very large number of them have emigrated to either the US, Canada, or Europe. The US being their preferred destination over places like Norway or Canada by a very large margin. The average assistant professor at a prestigious university in the US makes about $100,000 a year versus about $15,000 a year for lecturers at Ghana's flagship university. Given this difference in compensation any Ghanaian who can get a job in the US teaching at a university is going to permanently emigrate rather than stay and teach in Ghana. This difference of $85,000 a year makes up for an unlimited amount of cold weather, lack of fufu, and even lethal racism. An even greater discrepancy exists regarding the salaries of doctors. Of course the Ghanaian government has only itself to blame for this exodus. It is the one paying extremely low salaries to public employees compared to even other African states such as Nigeria or South Africa.

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