If You Think Africa is Suffering From a Brain Drain, Your Brain is Drained

found this excellent posting on the African brain drain dilemma:

I am weary of the brain drain argument. It belongs to donor and NGO conferences, not to the real lives of those who must live by their wits and effort as opposed to a cheque from Western taxpayers. Those who bandy the argument are relentlessly statist and even now have their eye on remittances that they believe can be directed better by government and development organisations than by the people who earn them. It is an argument beloved by middle class paternalists in hock to donor money and who believe that without those who have left, everything at home will fall apart – it is nonsense of the worst kind.

The article describes how a nurse was able to improve her living conditions for herself and her family by working and studying in the UK for a couple of years.

Think again before trying to introduce regulations to restrict qualified workers from working in Europe. Better: fight corruption, introduce a fair and just legal system, promote the free economy, and reduce the bureaucratic red tape required to start a business.

Watch dogs in Lilongwe



I like this photo from Lilongwe. The gate, Securicor sign and watch dogs are so typical of many residential areas in Malawi.

It reminds me of my regular walks in Nyambadwe with my small dog. A very clever mongrel: If the gate was closed, she’d run up to the gate and bark and provoke the big watch dogs, if the gate was open or if the property had no fencing, she’d quietly walk past.

Darwins Nightmare

Saw this documentary about the Lake Victoria fishing industry in Mwanza, Tanzania:

Darwins Nightmare

The only group that Hubert Sauper didn’t interview were the employees in the fish factories…

But otherwise a fairly realistic and saddening description of life along the shores of Lake Victoria, showing how Tanzania exports hundreds of tonnes of fish to Europe and Japan, while many of its citizens cannot afford a daily meal.

Film website

Work, interrupted

[…] average cubicle dwellers work at one thing for just 11 minutes at a stretch and this is divided into three-minute chunks. Once they are interrupted from the task in hand it takes them 25 minutes to get back to it.

source: print version of yesterday’s FTD

and here’s the original article, which was published in the NYT:
Meet the Life Hackers