Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International Migration
Title Brain drain potential in Botswana
Volume 45
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 115-145
URL http://www.popline.org/node/197221
This paper examines the prospect of emigration of skilled professional citizens from Botswana. Since 1980, international migration of skilled people from, and within, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has surpassed anything previously witnessed in the twentieth century. One consequence of the increasing frequency of such migration is growing governmental resistance in developed countries to free movement of skilled labour. Unlike most SSA countries, Botswana's robust economy and long-standing democratic political structure make it appear an unlikely candidate for massive brain drain, but there are already indicators pointing towards its occurrence (Campbell, 2001). This study was designed primarily to determine whether professionals persist in their intention to leave the country and, if so, why they want to migrate.

The results point towards a likelihood of massive brain drain in Botswana in the near future, although the prospects of this being realized cannot be ascertained by the instruments employed in this study. Among the key findings are that: 1) the unhappiness of future professionals seems to derive from poor opportunities for professional advancement resulting in disequilibrium between income distribution and a taste for luxury goods; 2) the prospects for emigration have improved because of increased earnings and but better access to information technology, and; 3) that technology may now be a more important motivation for emigration than family members living abroad. Nonetheless, there is evidence that a vigorous and sustained economy-enhancing campaign by the government would encourage Batswana professionals to stay and work in the country.

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