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Monday, 15 February 2010

Benefiting from the brain drain..

The final update from the Government Assurance Report (2009) highlights what government is apparently doing to combat the brain drain. It appears that finally people are beginning to heed the arguments we put forward on "living with a leaking bucket"

Benefiting from the Brain Drain, Government Assurance Report 2009, National Assembly, Excerpt :

On 7th March, 2006, the Hon Minister of Labour and Social Security made the following assurance on the floor of the House: "What we need to do is turn the brain drain to brain gain. This is why we are working on policies of how we should work with the receiving, exporting and importing nations of labour."

In his update, the Permanent Secretary reported that most Zambians were being trained to replace those that had left for greener pastures. Most organisations were being encouraged to improve their terms and conditions of service to attract those that had left to come back and serve their nation and once they came back, they came as skilled and competent persons especially those that have worked in the developed countries.

The Ministry has had meetings with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for technical assistance for the establishment of a system of registering all citizens in the diaspora so that the Government was able to track them and make use of them when the need arose. Furthermore, other efforts were being made through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to encourage the formation of diaspora associations in various countries as that would make it easier to identify skilled labour that could be used on issues concerning private sector development in Zambia.

Committee’s Observations and Recommendations

Your Committee observe that most skilled personnel, especially in the Ministry of Health and Education, opt to go outside the country for greener pastures. In view of the above, your Committee urge the Government to put in a provision in the Employment Act which would retain and attract skilled personnel within the country and in the diaspora to work in organisations and companies in Zambia. A progress report is awaited on the matter.

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