Scholar Asserts That Low Levels of Education Funding Are Causing an African Brain Drain

Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, director of economic affairs for the African Union Commission, speaking recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, warned that inadequate funding of higher education in Africa, was resulting in a brain drain from the continent. He stated that low levels of funding for higher education were causing academic faculty to look elsewhere for employment opportunities and for funding for their research.

Dr. Mkwezalamba also asserted that low levels of funding were causing a deterioration of the physical facilities at many African universities. He noted that lack of funding was causing low participation in higher education throughout Africa, where only 2 percent to 6 percent of the college-age population was enrolled in higher education. In comparison, enrollment rates are as high as 70 percent in some Western European nations.

Dr. Mkwezalamaba is a lecturer at the University of Malawi. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

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  1. Thank you, Dr. Mkwezalamba for pointing out one of the serious causes of Africa’s intellectual hemorrhage. I understand that you are on the faculty at Malawi University. If you have not already done so, could you tell us when you will venture into research to identify ways to remedy this situation. I hope you are not waiting for a white ‘scholar’ from Manchester or Illinois to beat you to the punch. May I also suggest that there are other more serious and chronic causes such as complacency, systemic fraud, incompetency and dependency born of the foreign aid syndrome.


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