NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 3 – A reverse brain drain to Africa might be the unintended outcome of Trump’s stringent immigration policies, industrialist Dr. Chri Kirubi said.
In a panel discussion hosted by The Economist Events in Nairobi, Kirubi said African countries should take advantage of the opportunity presented by the policies to attract and retain skilled talent.
“Trump is doing us a favor by driving back the educated where they belong, in Africa, Asia, Middle East. These are assets we have been allowing to disappear in Africa,” Kirubi said at the Economist’s Innovative Economies event.
The panellists, including Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and her Tunisian counterpart Saidi Ounisi, opened the event by discussing how innovation can increase productivity and efficiency in Africa.
Kandie said the region needs to adapt an innovative culture as we make production more efficient.
“We (Government) have engaged the private sector in creating policies but there is opportunity to collaborate more. We also have to look at what the labor market needs and align the training of our young people to the needs of industry,” said Kandie.
But Kirubi said the issue was not in the policy formulation but in the implementation of these policies.
“Kenya’s Vision 2030 was created in a perfect partnership between the government and the private sector. What I don’t remember is how we are interpreting the vision to achieve our goals as a country.”
The Economist event also brought together industry leaders including Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Amref Health Africa’s CEO, BRCK’s and iHub founder Erik Hersman.