Zimbabwe no longer regards exodus of professional and skilled people as brain drain but brain circulation

Zimbabwe no longer regards exodus of professional and skilled people as brain drain but brain circulation

Zimbabwe Higher Education Minister Amon Murwira yesterday told Parliament that Zimbabwe is no longer talking about brain drain but about brain circulation.

Responding to questions on why the government continued to train people like teachers when it could not employ them and when those trained left the country to look for greener pastures, Murwira said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration was changing the philosophy of why people go to school.

We go to school to be trained to be able to do what we were trained for.  We go to school in order to be able to use our knowledge and skills and attitudes to start new enterprises.  We go to school not to be used by the ones who are already established in industry.  We go to school in order to use ourselves to work for ourselves,” he said. 

“This is a deep philosophy which diverts from the philosophy of going to school to be employed by the colonial master, kuzvishandira, kwete kushandiswa.  It therefore means what we are talking about in terms of brain drain, sometimes people call it brain drain.  Brain drain assumes that the pot which is cooking people has stopped cooking.  

“We will continue cooking our people in our higher and tertiary education institutions.  Hativapedzi, ticharamba tichi trainer vanhu to the extent that these days what they call brain drain is actually brain circulation because we can still use our people wherever they are. 

“Sometimes we have been confronted with a question which says, why are you training them when they are going to the streets?  

“They will not go to the street when they have the correct design of education.  When the education trains them how to be able to make things; how to be able to form industries and how to be able to work for yourself, whereby our duty will be how to provide them with the correct policy environment so that they are able to do so.  Also, how to provide them with the venture fund so that they have the finances.  So, it tells us of a whole new philosophy of how we want our country to be today and into the future.  We shall not construct people who work for other people.  We will construct people who work for their country, for themselves.”

People are not agreed on how many people have left the country with some figures as high as five million while official figures are about one million.

Zimbabwe was the fourth largest receiver of remittances last year according to the World Bank.

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