- consolidating Loans on Human Resources Fast Facts: Legal
- Fatima Abubakar on My 2012 Class Speaker Speech — Daniel Denis
- gabriel.tobby on Class of 2011 Valedictory Speech –by Daniel Harbor
- Daniel Harbor on Class of 2011 Valedictory Speech –by Daniel Harbor
- Babatunde Johnson on Class of 2011 Valedictory Speech –by Daniel Harbor
. . .find your news and blogs
Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?
In 2010, Kevin Idehen, a columnists for thewillnigeria.com, wrote that the United Nations estimates that over the next decade Africa will need to train an additional 1 million health care professionals and find ways to retain more of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians it currently produces.
It’s not unusual for highly-educated Africans who leave the continent to pursue Masters’ and/or PhDs’ to not come back, apart from the standard holiday visit – if that. This need for more professionals, in the healthcare field or any other, could stem from the fact that most Africans, no matter what age, have within them a dying need to flee the African scene.
This is an area under discussion that many say have said can and will lead to the further undevelopment of the continent. Once Africans become the very best, it seems as if cutting ties with the land that needs them the most is inevitable. Instead, Africans are opting for what is considered a much more comfortable lifestyle in places like Europe and North America. Many end up getting married, raising children and not setting eyes on Africa for decades on end.
It’s no secret that young people in Nigeria, particularly students at the American University of Nigeria, AUN, are bound to follow in the footsteps of previous generations. All one has to do is look at what Nigeria’s younger generation is wearing and the slang they use to see that everyone wants to see if the shade of the grass is different on the other side. “Musicians” and celebrities they so much idolize are leading the way. WizKid, a popular singer in Nigeria, was even denied an American visa last year. Now, students at AUN may not want to go overseas to perform in concert, but they certainly do want to experience life outside of Nigeria. The fact is there are some who have left Europe and North America dying and searching for a connection with the Motherland that just cannot be found on those two continents.
It’s almost as if people don’t know what they have right in their backyards. This lack of fulfilment could be a result of socio-economic pressure but when you look at groups like young people at AUN, for the most part, they don’t face those pressures – they aren’t part of the 99% in any way.
Whether the idea of living in a foreign land should be abhorred or celebrated is not the issue at hand. The much bigger problem is what these future experts could and should be contributing to Africa and Nigeria. This notion that American ideals through American trained students could have a hand in making Nigeria a better place (many would argue that American ideals can’t and won’t) cannot be put to the test when those students have no intensions of living in the country.
Still, the question must be asked: what can be done to reverse this phenomenon that is fast becoming a trend? Can it be reversed? The answer to that question lies within the heart and minds of Africans. Finding ways to entice highly skilled, intelligent women and men who see better prospects in other countries to stay at home is not a task that can be easily achieved. Government agencies should be at the forefront of this movement, making job opportunities available for Africans a priority. The Diaspora Commission, an agency set-up to combat this very problem, is a good start but little can be done about the inner-workings of the African mind. This challenge ends and begins with college students who are preparing to graduate. In the end, getting a degree in Africa does little good for Africa when it’s possible that a great deal of graduates may end up living in another country.