Brain drain, a growing headache threatening Afghanistan’s future

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 11:57 Written by  Read 19998 times

The uncertain future of Afghanistan has prompted many Afghans, most of whom are professionals and accomplished youth, to flee the country with the hope of finding a better future in foreign countries, particularly, Europe and the United States of America. 


The current flow of “youth brain drain” also known as the human capital flight from a poor country like Afghanistan, which desperately needs human resources, in terms of professionals and people with technical knowledge and expertise, will be very hard to compensate if not stemmed by the government.

On the one hand, this exodus of youth is triggered by the country’s ambiguous future and the worsening security, but on the other hand, some people have been provided with promising opportunities, enticing them to prefer living in the West to Afghanistan.

A number of foreign organizations, especially American, provide their professional staff and technical experts with opportunities to leave the country for the West. These are mostly the very young professionals on whom significant investment has been made to build their capacity, and Afghanistan acutely needs their expertise.  

This comes as one of the biggest defects of the Afghan government in development and administrative affairs is a lack of professionals. The International Community has also been highly critical in this regard, and blames a lack of capacity in the Afghan government for its failure in development efforts, characterizing it a second factor after corruption; and it is right indeed.

Past experience has proven that most of the development programs have been slow-paced, or even failed in some instances due to low technical and professional capacity.
Now that Afghanistan is making strides towards self-reliance, it direly needs professional and technical cadres in addition to fighting corruption.  

Taking this into account, not only the Afghan government but also the International Community has the responsibility to halt the brain drain.  The International Community should honestly cooperate with Afghanistan so that it will not miss future development opportunities as a result of its low capacity as in the past, thereby taking swift steps towards self-sufficiency.

Heart of Asia

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