Brain Drain And Its Contribution To Globalization And Economic Development In Kenya
Brain Drain is generally not a new phenomenon in developing countries. It has been known to rob developing nations of their professionals to the developed world. This research paper aimed at examining the issue of human capital flight or brain drain, and its contribution to globalization and economic development in Kenya. The study examined the African medical brain drain case and Kenya to be specific. The paper further assessed the magnitude, intensity and determinants of the brain drain showing that this form of human capital flight is becoming a dominant pattern of international migration and a major aspect of globalization and economic development. The study sort to determine what kind of effects that brain drain has on the developing economies in the African continent, with special focus to Kenya whether positive or negative. The study aimed at assessing the losses that Kenya incurs from brain drain in the medical sector. The study considered the cost incurred in training a medical sector from Primary School all the way to Medical school and compared that to the return on investment for the economy. The findings showed that Kenya has been on the losing end for many years as it has been unable to retain its medical professionals with rich countries gaining due to the favourable employment terms in these nations. This being the findings of just the medical brain drain, it would go without saying that any form of brain drain is not good for any developing economy like Kenya. The disadvantages by far outweighs the gains that may result . This study harmonizes with other studies done in Kenya, that brain drain is a phenomenon that should not be encouraged by developing economies in Africa. If Kenya is to meet the rising human resource need, it must strive to discourage any form of brain drain and focus on retaining its skilled young professional at all costs. The retaining of these professionals will ensure that the economy grows, and that the country does not have to import labour to meet the human resource need. It will further help in reducing the unemployment levels in the country. Employing its own professionals would further reduce the operating costs for the country as employing local labour is always cheaper than imported labour. Based on present evidence Kenya has experienced significant brain drain and waste. According to a report by World Health Organization (WHO) more than 4 million additional health professional are urgently needed in 57 countries, 36 of which are sub-Saharan Africa (World Health Organization , 2006). This report states that not enough health workers have been trained or recruited where they are most needed. Moreover, an increasing number are joining a brain drain of qualified professionals who are migrating to better paid jobs in rich countries. There are several reasons why this paper focuses at the Kenyan case. First, the Kenyan population abroad is one of the top ten among African countries and is therefore a significant population to consider. Second, there is anecdotal evidence that most Kenyan migrants experience brain drain in developed countries. This claim is disturbing and creates extra interest in looking at Kenya specifically. Kenya is also a good county to focus on because of its government in its Diaspora and the express interest of the network of Kenyans abroad in development efforts in Kenya. Furthermore, Kenya is the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa.
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