Can we still speak of an actual « brain drain » from the African continent today? The answer is no. Yes, I am one of those optimists, and I think it is time to talk about something else that is happening: the « return of talents ». That is what we have been witnessing these past few years. The western world is saturated but Africa is bursting with opportunities. The diaspora has finally understood that the opportunity is there to build if it grabs it.
When I compare my parents’ generation (the 60s) to mine, it’s this need to return to the motherland that most hit me. Uncles, Aunts, cousins, etc, we almost all have loved ones abroad… This is the legacy of this “old” diaspora, which didn’t necessarily have the means, the opportunity, the courage or let’s face it, the desire to return home.
I’m not pointing fingers here, I firmly believe that the diaspora AND locals have just as important of a role to play in the built of the « New Africa ». I am pointing out that things have changed: the youth want to head back! They are even dying to head back to their home countries. But it is not always thought through, because it’s nice to want to change things on the grounds but it is crucial to have an objective and a plan!
So is it worth returning? The answer is far from a straightforward yes or no. The real question is have you taken the time to prepare? Do you have a precise project in mind? Are you adventurous? Are you passion driven? Have you tested the waters? There are so many questions to ask before taking the leap or maybe not…