Monday, July 5, 2010

The Boateng Brothers and the Trouble with Africa

Guardian First Book Award winner for her collection of short stories "An Elegy for Easterly" Petina Gappah reflects in the FT on the Ghanaian Boateng brothers, fluidity of African identity (whatever the hell that is, or has even been), and brain drain:

Beyond the razzle and the dazzle and the vuvuzela din of the tournament this strikes me as the most telling lesson of Africa’s first World Cup. Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Michael Essien and other African stars all live abroad, as do many other African professionals. If the continent is to overcome the brain drain of this emigration, African countries must find ways to tempt them home.

The Boatengs’ story is not just one of the fluidity of identity, a poignant theme for Africa’s diaspora in the post-colonial era. It is also even a pointer to how Africa can use the brain drain that has so debilitated its professional classes to its advantage.

Read all of it.

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