The brain-drain is an all too familiar phenomenon on the African continent; successive generations have witnessed Africa’s brightest and most skilled young professionals seeking greater working and educational opportunities in the developed nations of Europe and North America.
Professor Jagdish N. Bhagwati of Columbia University argues that now more than ever it is time to arrest this momentum. Providing enticements for migrants to return and not settle abroad, and implementing foreign aid training schemes for Africans lay at the heat of this matter.
For greater detail, and for more innovative solutions to plugging and arresting Africa’s great brain-drain, please check out Professor Bhagwati’s key policy innovations here in his Al Jazeera op-ed piece:
The Shared Societies Project was present at the 4th Alliance of Civilizations Forum celebrated in Doha, Qatar. take a moment to listen to Andrés Pastrana’s address, former President of Colombia (1998-2002) and Club de Madrid Member.
We stumbled across this interesting interview through India Real Time, a deeply intriguing blog about Indian politics hosted by the The Wall Street Journal. Nikita Garia speaks with Former Indian President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (2002-2007) about Indian economic development. Abdul Kalam has authored several books on the subject, including his latest work, Target 3 Billion, co-authored alongside Srijan Pal Singh, a rural development expert. As we read in the post, “Mr. Kalam tackles the big issue of how to eradicate poverty from the world. The book promotes a strategy known as PURA, Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas, which focuses on fostering community participation to reduce poverty in rural areas”.
India Real Time: How can the urban elite contribute to rural development?
Abdul Kalam: First, you can be a giver of knowledge to help identify and nurture the rural potential. Engineers can identify the best technology to harness these competencies, while managers can help find suitable markets for products and so on.
Moreover, the youth can even choose to become entrepreneurs of rural India, by identifying and focusing on the competencies of rural regions. Besides the service you are providing to your nation, the rural regions also have tremendous business potential, as we have highlighted.
Not to renegotiate the principles of sustainable development but to find the political will to integrate the economic, social and environmental pillars already agreed to in an institutional framework putting human well-being at the center of concern, and that reinforces principles of intergenerational equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.
Developed countries must shrink environmental footprints as fast and as far as possible while sustaining human development achievements.
Developing countries must continue to raise their people’s living standards while containing increases in their footprints, recognising that poverty eradication remains a priority.
The Shared Societies Project has been operating on a global stage since 2005 and to date we have developed a host of initiatives that foster more commitments and political approaches towards achieving greater social cohesion in our societies.
Our challenge remains to keep striving to implement and put into practice such projects on a national, regional and local government level. We are presently operating in South Africa and Kyrgyzstan and in both countries social cohesion is a top priority for their respective governments. We are seeking to secure further commitments to achieve safe and prosperous societies for all.
Our programme officer, Carla Fernández-Durán, and Dr Werner Puschra, Executive Director of the New York Office of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, have recently been in Perú on a survey mission, exploring the possibility of taking the Shared Societies Project to South America.
Perú has a notably diverse society and we envisage that a new chapter to the SSP in this nation would represent a great opportunity to improve ties amongst and connect all sections of Peruvian society. During this mission our colleagues identified and consulted key partners for the SSP project, meeting both government officials and relevant civil society stakeholders.
The SSP team is optimistic of shortly securing funding for this initiative, and Alejandro Toledo, former President of Perú and a Club de Madrid member, has also lent his support and thrown his weight behind this project which we hope to kick start imminently! Please keep us posted with your thoughts on all Shared Societies Project and we look forward to updating you with our progress in our new South American chapter!
Project Syndicate has published a deeply insightful article on the current state of affairs in Nigeria, one of the most socially and ethnically diverse countries on the African continent. Ike Okonta, policy analyst, writer and currently a fellow of the Open Society Institute, writes about The Nigerian Crucible.
Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, has overseen upheaval and has been fire-fighting protests across the nation led by the civil-society organizations Joint Action Front and Save Nigeria Group in Abuja (the national capital), Lagos (the commercial capital), and Kano (the most populous city in the north). Unrest has been sparked by the government’s withdrawal of gasoline subsidies, and so far the protests see little sign of relenting.
Nigeria is facing an onerous challenge. With a corrupt and rudderless government, Africa’s most populous country has resumed its dance on the edge of the precipice. Its poor and powerless citizens, angrily demanding transparency and accountability, do not want the country to disintegrate into its many squabbling ethnic regions. But its rich and powerful, who have already plunged the country into a bloody civil war once again appear poised to do it again.