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General News
Mazuii applauds opposition .... 8/24/2007
...for political stability in Ghana
Accra, Aug 23, GNA- Professor Ali Alamin Mazrui, a world acclaimed African scholar, on Thursday attributed the relative political stability in Ghana to the moderation of the opposition saying, "restraint by the opposition in Ghana is a virtue."

"The behaviour of the opposition goes a long way to determine the political status of a country and Ghana''s opposition must be given the credit for their restraint, which has kept the country relatively stable for decades," he said.

Prof. Mazrui, made the remark at the seventh in the Golden Jubilee Lecture series, jointly organised by the Ghana at 50 Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD. The topic for the lecture was "The Brain Drain and the dual Diaspora: Post-enslavement and post-coloniality."

Prof. Mazrui noted that political instability among other things was a major "push out factor" that contributed to brain-drain in Africa.

He said the phenomenon resulted in professionals moving out of the continent to the West due to "pull in factors" such as better economic, educational, political and social conditions among other things. Prof. Mazrui recalled that in the post-independence era, in Ghana, domestic policies of the then Conventional People''s Party government sparked off the phenomenon of post-colonial Diaspora.

He said Dr. Kwame Nkrumah''s Preventive Detention Act was one of the major cause of Ghanaian intellectuals, who felt unsafe and unwanted in their own country to leave Ghana.

"Not just in Ghana but in the whole of Africa at the time, politicians made it look like African intellectuals were destabilizing elements rather than development partners-I was personally refused an appointment to lecture in my own country and I was told it was for political reasons," he said.

Prof. Mazrui said the over throw of Dr. Nkrumah set the tone for a chain of coups in Ghana and its resultant political instability that plagued the country until recently.

He said Ghana had over the past few years shown signs of moving completely from a coup-prone country to a coup-proof country, characterised by sound political developments. Prof. Mazrui said even though Ghana and some other African countries were relatively stable, the brain drain situation was rising because the "pull in factors" in the West continued to out-weigh "pull in factors" in Africa.

"A recent online research indicated that through brain drain, one-third of Africa''s education budget has become a supplement to the US education budget because most of the people who leave Africa to the states are people who are highly trained with African resources," he said.

Prof. Mazrui charged African leaders to formulate policies to tackle the brain gain issue, and noted that Africa could not do anything about the "pull in factors" that existed in the West.

He urged African leaders to as a matter of policy begin to stem the domestic "push out factors," which also included poverty, lack of opportunities for career development, education and better social services among other things.

Prof Mazuri said attempts to solve the brain gain problem should focus on bringing the expertise of African intellectuals in the Diaspora to bear on the continent''s development without necessarily relocating them physically unto the continent."

He said there was difference between post-enslavement and post-colonial Diaspora, explaining that in the United States for instance, the post-enslavement Diasporians were the Africa-Americans, born and raised in America, but the post-colonial Diaspora, who he referred to as the American-Africans, comprised of those who migrated to the states as a result of the "push out" factors.

Prof Mazuri said both groups were resourceful and could be used for the development of the continent when the right policies and conditions were put in place.

"Remittances from members of African families in the Diaspora alone is higher than foreign direct investment from the west to Africa. But we are talking about financial and intellectual input from the Diaspora," he said.

Prof. Mazrui also asked Africa states to find ways of converting brain drain to "brain transfer," where African intellectuals could move to other parts of the continent instead of moving outside the continent all together.

Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Prof. J. H. Kwabena Nketiah, graced the lecture ministers of State, members of the Council of State members, members of parliament and members of the diplomatic corps.


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