Monday, October 24, 2005

From the Guyana Project

A week & a half after the release of the preliminary report on the 2002 census, Ian McDonald writes (in his column in yesterday's Stabroek News) about Guyana's continuing "brain drain" problem:

I wish absolutely accurate figures could be made available but, even in their absence, who can doubt that the exodus, if illegal is added to legitimate, is still running at as much as 15,000 people a year, perhaps more. These include many of the best, most skilled, most experienced, and hardest-working people in the community.

I cannot understand why this threat to the whole nation is not more discussed in public, and with greater concern, especially as the exodus on the face of it seems likely to grow as the numbers abroad who can sponsor those at home goes on increasing. A couple emigrating a few years ago opens the way for a dozen more up the road. Remember also the devastating fact that people planning to leave have already left in the sense that they have lost all feeling of commitment and wanting to work hard and contribute as they coast towards the Promised Land. The cumulative loss of commitment slackens the sinews of effort in the nation most insidiously.

Recall that the census figures show an overall increase in Guyana's population, but also suggest that 40% of the Guyanese born in the late 1970s--i.e. my generation, the generation who ought to be preparing right now to assume responsibility for Guyana's future--have left in search of better opportunities abroad.

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