Brain Drain Threatens Afghan Development

News - Afghanistan


Although Afghanistan has the highest refugee population in the world already, Afghan youth are reportedly still seeking to leave the country in evergrowing numbers as the country moves toward the April elections and the NATO troop withdraw. 

Afghanistan is a country with roughly 27 million people, and according to some statistics, 60 percent of them are youth. Young Afghans have been the flag-barrers of modern Afghanistan, pushing progress along since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Qari Ahmad Rishad Mamozai, who is a well-known for his recitations of the Qur'an; Taekwondo athlete Nisar Ahmad Bahawi; the Afghan National Football and Cricket Teams are all examples of prominent Afghan youth leading a new generation into an uncertain future. 

But, according to officials, Afghan youth are fleeing the country in droves, and are not the only ones. 

"Unfortunately, the statistics of emigrations are much higher than returns," Afghan Minister of Refugees & Repatriations Jamahir Anwary said.

Afghanistan experienced a kind of brain drain in the late 1970s when the Soviet Union invaded as well as in the 1990s when the civil war errupted and then the Taliban came to power. However, millions of Afghans who had spent much of their lives in countries in Europe and North America returned to Afghanistan after 2001.

It would seem that trend is shifting now, as the country hurdles toward a pivotal year, in which a new President will be elected and the future of Afghanistan's relationship with NATO decided. 

"It's a great danger to Afghanistan's human resource development process," Afghan economic analyst Azaraksh Hafizi said. "Afghanistan is losing its intelligent youth who could be the best engineers and scientists in the future." 

Violence, corruption, poverty and unemployment are cited as the primary motivations behind the Afghan exodus. 

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