Brain Drain to Brain Gain
projects in Mali
provide innovative approaches to the phenomenon of Brain Drain,
the extensive emigration of skilled professionals. Both projects
capitalize on the skills of nationals living abroad to promote international
of Mali TOKTEN project
Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals programme at
the newly established University of Mali (TOKTEN TALMALI) filled
the urgent need for qualified teaching and research personnel in
a number of key areas by bringing Malian academics living abroad
back to their home country on short term contracts.
missions by visiting expatriate professors to the University of
Mali were held in the 2000-2001 academic year as part of this joint
Government of Mali, UNESCO and UNDP project. The visiting professors,
living in Africa, Europe and North America, represented specialists
in a wide range of fields including engineering, international law,
mathematics, marketing, tourism, computer science and economics.
TOKTEN TALMALI facilitated co-operation between the visiting professors
and their counterparts at the University of Mali, established in
1996, with a view to fostering continued dialogue and exchange of
inter- university experiences.
has a high level of migration, and widespread Diaspora working in
key institutions abroad. The linguistic and cultural skills of the
participants of the TOKTEN TALMALI programme greatly facilitated
the smooth transfer of knowledge and skills.
TOKTEN programme was initiated by the UNDP in 1977. This programme
has proven to be a cost-effective and innovative modality for transferring
knowledge to over 30 developing countries in a wide spectrum of
fields. TOKTEN funds the services of expatriate national experts
for well prepared short term assignments (usually one to three months)
with selected host institutions in the government, academic and
research institutions, private sector and ngos.
in the innovative experience at the University of Mali was expressed
by participants at the Seventh
Session of the Regional Committee in charge of the application of
the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies in the Africa
Region organized by the UNESCO Regional Office for Education
in Africa (Senegal, November 2001). This intergovernmental committee
recommended that a case study of the the TOKTEN/TALMALI project
at the University of Mali in the 2002-2003 biennium.
Brain Drain - Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Drain, the massive emigration of skilled professionals, is a priority
addressed in the UNESCO Strategy for South East Europe. This Strategy
responds to the massive emigration of young university graduates
between the ages of 25 and 40 who make up a large proportion of
the Diaspora from the South East European Area. Many of these professionals
have continued their careers in institutions of higher learning
abroad where they have gathered experience relevant to their countries
of origin. Bringing these young professionals back for short or
extended periods to the institutions that they have left is one
of the key objectives of this Strategy.
Strategy, launched in June 2001 reflects the commitment made by
the Director-General of UNESCO at the Conference of Foreign Ministers
of the Adriatic and Ionian countries (Ancona, May 2000) in which
a new impetus was given to co-operation in all fields of UNESCO's
competence with Member States from South East Europe. A high-level
meeting with the participation of decision-makers at the ministerial
level to co-ordinate UNESCO actions in this area is foreseen for
'Alleviating Brain Drain in Bosnia, Croatia and Yugoslavia' Project,
is one of fourteen pilot activities of this Strategy which highlights
priority areas for UNESCO's co-operation and identifies flagship
projects to be implemented in the 2002-2003 biennium.
main idea behind the Brain Drain Project, organized by Education
Forum, a Serbian non- governmental organization, is to treat
brain drain as an opportunity for positive economic change and stabilization
of South East Europe and a catalyst for Yugoslavia's successful
integration into the European and global communities.
two main objectives of the project are to establish strong professional
ties between the young professional Diaspora from South Eastern
Europe and their colleagues who have remained, and build on these
contacts in order to strengthen links between institutions in the
region and their counterparts abroad.
the first phase of this project (August - December 2001), a bilingual
Drain website, with a publicly accessible web-based database
of individuals and institutions in Yugoslavia and abroad was developed.
During the first seven weeks following the launch of the brain drain
website, some 240 people had registered on the site The members
of the Brain Drain Database represented professionals living in
Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe (including Yugoslavia), North America
and New Zealand. These people included professionals in the field
of arts, business and finance, law, medicine, science and technology.
its second phase, the project will set up services to enhance two
way communication - Chat , Web Mail and Brain Forum - to promote
exchange between individuals and co-operating institutions in order
to identify activities such as joint research projects, visiting
positions and post doctoral work.
project will be extended to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in
its pilot phase, and if successful as a mechanism could be promoted
at a larger scale in South East Europe and the Mediterranean.