The dialogue broadens to encompass the role of African migrants in the development of Africa. Should those of us based in this part of African return home? What should be our contribution. Professor Odhiambo challenges us in this original and provocative essay.  "The hope for Africa's graduation into an era of "brain gain"  as espoused by UNESCO may be premature just yet," he asserts. " The continent has still got to deal with a "brain drain" for those who have left, and with a "brain haemorrhage" for those who have stayed. The summons to participate in "nation- building" is no longer convincing, and the rhetoric of African "development" has lost its purchase. While it is true that Africa needs its intellectuals, African universities have to deal with internal structural disorders first. Similarly African bureaucracies have to weed out institutionalized corruption before they can hope for the return of the exiles."
        Professor Atieno Odhaimbo, based at Rice University, is Africa's most senior and respected historian in the United States. A profound thinker and writer, he has shaped the development of African historiography through various phases and eras. With recent books such as The Risks of Knowledge :Investigations into  the Death  of Minister Robert John Ouko, Kenya 1990.   Siaya: Historical Anthropology of an African Landscape. and  Mau Mau and Nationhood:  Arms, Authority and Memory. Atieno Odhiambo maintains the leadership role that we have associated with him for over 3 decades.

                       AFRICA'S "BRAIN GAIN"

       "The term "brain drain" is frequently used to describe the movement of high-level experts from developing  countries to industrialized nations."


"Article 16 -From 'brain drain' to 'brain gain'

The 'brain drain' has yet to be stemmed, since it continues to deprive the developing countries and those in transition, of the high-level expertise necessary to accelerate their socio-economic progress. International co-operation  schemes should be based on long-term partnerships between institutions in the South and the North, and also  promote South-South co-operation. Priority should be given to training programmes in the developing countries, in centres of excellence forming regional and international networks, with short periods of specialized and intensive study abroad.Consideration should be given to creating an environment conducive to attracting and retaining  skilled human capital, either through national policies or international arrangements to facilitate the return-permanent or temporary- of highly trained scholars and researchers to their countries of origin. At the same time, efforts must be directed towards a process of 'brain gain' through collaboration programmes that, by virtue of their international dimension, enhance the building and strengthening of institutions and facilitate full use of endogenous capacities".

                   ---UNESCO, 1998. World Declaration on Higher Education  
                                                   For The Twenty-First Century: Vision and
                                                 Action .




and deeply troubling phenomena, not only in the educational relations

among nations, but also as an anomaly of development in the case of Third

World counties. However, so far, there would appear to have been no

systematic or comprehensive appraisal of this phenomenon in Africa and of

its possible stranglehold on African development".


        I do not know who coined "Africa's Brain Gain" as a topic for discussion initially although I

have sourced the origin of the phrase in the UNESCO Declaration of 1998 . I suspect that the

wordsmith is possessed of a wry sense of humour, for otherwise the optimism behind the title would

be hard justify or to explain. We know it for a fact that :

             "Out of the small, but vibrant community of scholars that Africa

                managed to produce [in the 1960s], many have gone overseas,

               forced by conditions at home to seek a better working and living

                condition elsewhere. This has resulted in a massive brain drain,

                while those who remained behind watched themselves become

                   academically stagnated and incapacitated." 

We also know from the published statistics that:
                             "In 1998, nearly 120 doctors were estimated to have
                               emigrated from Ghana; between 600 and 700 Ghanaian
                               physicians are practicing in the United States alone. This
                               represents roughly 50 per cent of the total population of
                               doctors in Ghana. It is estimated that about 10, 000
                               Nigerian academics are now employed in the United
                                States and that more than 1,000 professionals left
                                Zimbabwe in 1997. Between 1980 and 1991, only 39
                                per cent of Ethiopian students returned from abroad out
                                of the 22, 700 who left."
What is more, we have read from Kenya's Minister for Planning and National Development Peter Anyang' Nyong'o that:
                            "To fill the gap created by the skills shortage, African
                             countries spend an estimated $4bn annually to employ
                               about 100,000 non-African expatriates."
 And further, we have to take serious cognizance of the fact that:
                                "In addition to brain drain, what is called "brain
                                  hemorrhage" has become a serious challenge to
                                  the revival of scientific life at African universities and
                                 research institutions. Most scientists who stayed on in
                                their institutions became divorced from research and
                               development activities due to the many challenges
                               afflicting those institutions."
        But rather than venture into the puns behind the elocution, or raise it as an agenda for inter-state relations as Professor. Lameck Goma  did in his Dalhousie University address , my presentation will be limited to a discussion of the incremental implications of the surmise : namely that the time has now arrived for diaspora Africans to "return to the native land" ,  and to take part in the imperatives of national 'development'. In part my cynicism is concerned with  the  unwarranted assumption that anyone in Africa cares for the thousands of its citizens who are dispersed in the  far-flung corners of the earth.
For too long scholars have glibly  observed that the African continent would be better off  , if only all its daughters and sons in the diasporas were to return to the continent , and to participate effectively in its 'development'.  It is this assumption that I intend to re-interrogate in this presentation. The pertinent question is: What good would it do, if we all turned up tomorrow and reported to the various Vice- Chancellors that we are ready to teach ? I approach this issue from a  cynical perspective that is informed by my own age cohort.  I grew up, in Africa, here in Kenya to be exact, and graduated from Makerere in March, 1970.
          The Political Sciences that we learnt from Prof. Ali Mazrui and Dr.  A.G. G. Ginyera-Pinycwa  as Makerere undergraduates included large doses of readings on political integration. We read from the edited volumes of Eisenstadt and Rokkan , and came to value the goals of African Independence.    The  goals of the integrative processes at independence included :-
         "[2] creating  unity among heterogeneous groups in their polity, often referred to as the process of nation-building ;
        and [3] providing avenues for political participation" . 
We understood this participation to be the very essence of democracy, and accepted Mwalimu Nyerere's prescription of the authentic model for democracy in a TANU publication in 1959:-
                 "The ancient Greeks lived in small towns. Each town was a
                  complete "nation" with its own government. They did not
                  have kings or watemi[chiefs]. The governmental affairs
                 were considered and decided in a meeting of commoners
                 together. Authority and responsibility did not rest with a single
                  individual or a small group of citizens, but rested with the entire
                   citizenry together. The Greeks called this governmental
                   arrangement "Demokratia", that is, government by the citizens,
                   in order to distinguish it from royal government and others."
        At Makerere we read from Goran Hyden's "Nation-Building Text" , appropriately entitled TANU Yajenga Nchi  .  We learnt from Mwalimu Nyerere that ,"To plan is to choose" ; and shared the vision and ambition of the Dar es Salaam Jazz Band that
                                        It can be done
                                                                                          Play your part!
           Rais akasema {The President declared] it can be done
                                                                                           Play your part!
                                       Yee! It can be done
                                                                                          Play your part!
           We felt as if we were participating in making choices along a line "running  from fully liberal capitalism through fully controlled state socialism"   .We swallowed line, hook and sinker the orthodoxies of comprehensive planning that were then de rigeur for each nation-state- in -the- making. In Kenya we  followed the debates on  'development' as articulated by Minister for Economic Planning  Tom Mboya, and read the then prevailing critiques of his Sessional Paper Number 10 :African Socialism and Its Application To  Planning in Kenya, offered by such luminaries as Dharam Ghai , Peter Marris and Barrack Obama in the East Africa Journal. 
            On completing our graduate studies we could not wait, but had to return immediately to our home countries to assist in the task of building the nation. In popular culture Franco Luambo Makiadi urged us to roll up our sleeves with his rumba tune, retroussons les marches, ushering in the post-1965 Mobutu regime  in Congo-Kinshasa, which we mistakenly thought of as regime ya seka or regime nouveau.  There was hardly any reason to tarry longer in Europe or the Americas once the examiners awarded us our much-sought - after PhDs. 
             What happened in the decade from the mid-1970s, and into the 1980s is  too -well - known and needs little recycling: the atrophying of the University Systems in Africa;  the curbing of academic freedom;  the onset of authoritarian regimes in each state;  the destruction of our erstwhile democracies and the imposition of the Ideologies of Order on societies   ; the damages of the Structural Adjustment Programs, leading to the deterioration in the material conditions and the morale of Africa's higher education institutions  ;  the flight into exile of the best and brightest -- those lucky enough to escape the arrests, tortures and detentions --by our incumbent regimes. 
        For many Africans of my generation and into the 1980s therefore the salient fact is that we moved into exile because of the failure of the post-colonial state. Hence one could not refer to into exile as voluntary. There might well be the desire to have our daughters and sons return to the Continent. But the political conditions that drove us to exile initially remain the same; at any rate the best that could be said is that there seems to be no political will to right such ancient wrongs.

       The 1951 Convention on Refugees describes a refugee as: " A person who is outside his/ her country of nationality or residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/ her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/ herself of the protection of that country, or return there, for fear of persecution".
                       Much as we joined in the re-democratization euphoria of the 1990s, cheering and urging for change in the political systems,  the new millennium has offered no consolation. True , there have been regime changes, but the practices of governance remain very much in place , everywhere in Africa , and particularly so in Kenya . A recent conclusion  on my part , informed by events in Kenya, namely that the political elites are determined to maintain Mahmood Mamdani's "centralized  despotism",   not even yielding to  the minimum irreducible demand for constitutional change,  serves to bear me out in this contention.
     So, once again I am led to ask: whose optimism induced the choice of this conference theme? Why should any sane African, driven into exile  by  various forces satanic and secular, imagined and real, want to come back to Africa in a reverse migration ? To what avail? What has changed, for whom, and where? Apart from our extended and immediate families, who depend on us for remittances, and whom we depend emotionally, who really needs us back home?
                         The Developmental Imperative
It requires little reminder to recognize the fact that the recent calls for the Diaspora Africans to return home is motivated by the desire to get involved in "development' after the destruction of the post colonial state. The idea of 'development' may indeed retain its viability or purchase. But not without qualifications. Let us see how.
                   Irene L. Gendzier reminds us that 'development' speaks to the aspirations of people throughout the world for a life of meaning and dignity.  And that is precisely the beginning of our problem. All of us, wherever we are on the surface of the earth, wish to pursue lives of meaning and dignity. Who in Africa seeks to provide the returning scholar with a life of meaning and dignity? Which Kenyan would be  impervious to the recently reported humiliation of her most celebrated novelist Ngugi wa Thiongo, on his return to his native land by a  person or persons unknown? Who  would submit to his wife Njeeri's humiliation again?
              But to return to the wider issue: when does the 'development' imperative become so compelling that those of us in the diaspora would begin yearning to participate in  it ? When does it begin to really benefit our people? What happened to the ingredient of people's participation  in development that undergirded  our enthusiasm  for it in the 1960s?
                The historiography of 'development' in Africa is instructive in this regard. Goran Hyden among others provides a  useful summary of this literature, and so provides our entry into the debate.  The first phase of the development discourse coincided with the Independence Era, 1955-1965. During this era [which Hyden labels as The "Big Push"], Africa's leaders were anxious to accelerate development so that people could see the benefits of their newly won  national sovereignty. Development was seen by these leaders as coterminous with modernization, and the intent of its trajectory was to follow in the footsteps of the western industrialized countries. Central planning for development was seen as mandatory, and the "top-down" approach was adopted, with the government as the engine of change, and people's participation was seen as secondary. Kenya's much lauded if under-theorized Harambee effort was part of this agenda, in so far as the Harambee effort was seen as a supplement to the government's technical expertise.
              This phase was followed by the era of the Basic Needs Approach, [1965-1975],  following the realization that development was not merely a linear economic model;  together with the realization that its alternative, 'underdevelopment ', was an equally possible outcome. During this period development was being advocated on the premise that it must address the individual's basic needs. In Kenya the period was marked by the "integrated  rural development programs", and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Nairobi generated a lot of literature on this approach to development.
              In turn, this phase was replaced by the Structural Adjustment Progams that dominated  the thinking  of the international lending institutions, including the World Bank and the IMF, between 1975 and 1985. The main objective of these reforms was to reward rural producers and eliminate subsidies to the urban consumers, and to free [rural] individuals from the shackles of government regulations, thus placing  responsibility for development on individuals rather than governments. Especially heralded during this period was the  notion of the "rational peasant", fortified with local knowledge, values and institutions. Development of or for the people was being replaced by the notion of development with the people.
                 A further paradigm shift occurred in the period 1985-1995, this time with a growing emphasis on the nurturing of an  Enabling Environment and development by the people. And by the beginning of the millennium we are being confronted not with the entity of 'development' , but by other shibboleths, including : 'the crisis of development', 'new social actors',  'new social movements' ,  and 'alternatives to development '.
                This brief excursion is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather , its  heuristic value lies in the conclusions to be drawn from it. One of them, a salient one nevertheless , is that neither the social scientists, nor the governments in Africa , know what  the end results of 'development ' might be. It follows logically therefore that neither the home -based scholars, nor the governments in Africa, are in a position to blithely invite the diaspora scholars to 'come and help us develop Africa'. We can no longer merely resonate to Franco Luambo Makiadi's retroussons les marches. As the Kenyan Economist Silvano Ogessa Wambakha once asked in his novel, the march towards 'development ' entails a safari on  The Long Road to Wapi?
                                     The Relevant Questions
The role of institutions  in creating an enabling environment has long been recognized by scholars of development.  These  discourses on development have long recognized that the choice of the environment is a political act.   Here I would first turn to the locus of my habitus, namely the University, for a period of extended interrogation. For it is still a truism that "African universities are major movers and shakers when it comes to determining the intellectual, scientific, and scholarly direction and developmental agenda of their respective countries".  This is particularly true of the public universities.
          What good would a return to Africa do? The initial question here has to do with whether the universities and research institutions in Africa have the capacity to absorb and retain the expatriate manpower were we to return to our respective countries.
             Much has been made of the fact that there are  enough openings in our respective universities and research institutes to absorb all the returnees. Nevertheless the issue is not one of openings per se. What is more pertinent has to do with those habits of work that we have got used to in the diaspora, and the  state of the physical plant or laboratory at home  to which one returns. At least in North America we have become used to the software that make life livable: computers and e-mail systems that work, administrators and secretaries that are responsible and responsive to the researcher's individual needs, availability of funds to attend national and international conferences, where one's Sabbatical and Study Leaves are part of the initial contract one signs with the host University, and where Chairs and Deans are supportive of one's work. Can one simply assume that these aspects of the physical plant will be in place? Also, since we are dealing with a 'greying professoriate' , such issues as Medical Benefits assume a cogent urgency. What happens if one does get sick? Does the individual assume that she or he will get attended at the nearest hospital, and does the individual assume the employer's capacity to foot the bill afterwards? If not , how does one learn to improvise, particularly from an hospital bed ? Where does one start: with the Chairman of the relevant Department, the Dean of the Faculty , or the principal of the College?
           Our discussion here hinges on institutional inertia particularly observable at Kenyan  public universities. With a fixed number of 'established posts' at each level , and with the clamour for seniority at each level , it becomes difficult to envisage a situation where there would be created multiple professorships , with individuals appointed as and when they are ready to 'profess' their subject , rather than because there are openings at the next tier. Furthermore,  as we are focusing on the upper echelons of the professoriate, it might be obligatory to open up the higher echelons of appointments, if only to limit the potential rivalry between  established dons and  their former students clamouring for promotion in the same departments.
            Of equal significance within the university systems is the need to recognize the pressures of expansion  and "massification"  that have added large numbers of students to most African academic institutions and systems in the past decade. The upshot of this turn of events are the very large classes that individual faculty have to instruct, making it impossible to run meaningful tutorials , and to exercise effective supervision of graduate students. The ramifications of this situation are several; among them is the need to recognize the fact that the students are getting lower quality of instruction than the senior faculty received as undergraduates. Even the Association of African Universities admits that there has been "a general drop in the quality of higher education in Africa" since the 1980s.  
                    "At the University of Nairobi, only 40 percent of the teaching
                     force hold Ph.D. degrees; 33 percent of the faculty at
                      Kenyatta, 32 percent of the faculty at Moi, and 19 percent of
                      the faculty at Egerton have Ph.D.s. Although the possession
                      of a Ph.D. degree is often a benchmark qualification for most
                      university lecturers internationally, the converse seems to
                      hold for Kenya."
   Put simply, the vast majority of present-day lecturers should be pursuing higher degrees instead of occupying academic posts.  This detail has relevance for the returning scholars .
                    Should one return home to become a mere classroom teacher? Quite often African states  see professors as teachers rather than producers of knowledge, and therefore as irrelevant to development and policy issues. Indeed policy matters are often reserved for "experts" , many of them our fellow colleagues coming from the West , and who for a  niggardly stipend engage us as 'consultants'.   "This is particularly the case where the local professionals have superior qualification to the so-called "international experts" yet they are answerable to them", Planning  Minister Anyang' Nyong'o had the temerity to add.  What are the implications of this situation for one's own research and publishing? Indeed what institutional mechanisms are in place for  research and publication in such an environment? "In the increasingly global world that is largely shaped by knowledge and information, establishing   a strong research infrastructure has more than ever before become a  sine qua non in this highly competitive world" , Teferra and Altbach  rightly assert. 
                  What are the implications of these numbers for one's own scholarship ? What can one do without the handmaiden of scholarship, a well stocked research library, or failing that, an efficient Inter-Library Loan System? This service, more than any other, has made life tenable for most of us even in the remotest corners of the USA. Without it, perhaps there would  be a rush at concentration of African scholars at the major African Studies Centres and nowhere else; with its accessibility , one can work anywhere from Hawaii to Alaska, and from Oklahoma to Miami.
                 Let me hasten to add that the majority of us are not involved in cutting-edge research, on cancer, on HIV/AIDS, or at the celebrated Walter Reed Army Hospital, The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, The National Institutes of Health;  in cutting-edge theoretical physics,  "dark energy" cosmological research in astronomy, or in nanotechnology research in expensive laboratories. Many of us are involved in mundane 'research' , in the Humanities and repetitive Social Sciences. But the point is that the few African scholars in the diaspora who want to publish have both access  to the relevant journals,  and  the intellectual capacity to do so while overseas. Even without lauding the merits of a knowledge -based  economy,  it is now obvious that there is special merit to be attached to research and publications. At the very least, the increasing numbers of African paper presenters at the  African Studies Association Annual Conferences has given me much food for thought over the  sixteen years I have been in forced exile in North America.
           An added pressure emanates from the need for "Community Service", as evidenced by the  involvement of the  public university systems in "Parallel Degree Programs" in such countries as Kenya and Uganda. There is undoubtedly merit in these extension programs; but they come at a cost, to the individual faculty, regarding how much time one can spare for genuine original research and writing for publication in ' refereed, reputable ,international,  mainstream journals' that the academic tradition demands .
              Let us now turn our gaze to the civil services in our respective countries, where  the majority of our baccalaureate degree holders would be employed in the first instance. The prevalent literature suggests that  without an enabling environment  in the corridors of power , not much is to be expected, even from well-intentioned bureaucrats.   In fact one  should start this aspect of the discourse with a caveat: can any bureaucracy be presumed to be 'developmental '? Given the traditional tendency of bureaucracies to conserve rather than  to experiment,   the question becomes: who does one turn to when you run against the impervious walls of bureaucracy?  To the Permanent Secretary or to the relevant Minister? And supposing she or he does not belong to your ethnic group, what does one then do?
                  Let us narrow down the discussion to reflect the recent experiences from Kenya. Sometime in  the 1990s, as President Daniel arap Moi sought to salvage his KANU regime from outward criticism, he did allow in a 'dream team' of experts, some of them recommended to him by the World Bank , and whose salaries were to be paid by that body. What confronted some of these individuals on assuming office in Nairobi  were  a series of  stumbling blocks symptomatic of bureaucratic inertia. Some of their fellow Permanent Secretaries complained that since these individuals were doing the same job, there was no need  for them to retain their World Bank salaries . Some civil servants questioned why they were allowed to work beyond the mandatory retiring age of fifty  five years.  Some members of the "dream team" had to  forgo their  late evening work habits,  being  forced out of their  offices by 5 p.m. in the interests of  'national security'. In the end the experiment came to nought as the President dismissed them over the radio at one o'clock in the afternoon, as was his wont with all other offices in the land. This narrative serves to demonstrate the incompatibility of  the entrenched work ethic within the Kenya nation with the practices obtaining elsewhere, with civil servants working late, unafraid  about their personal security .
                                 Lands of Hope , Lands of Oz?

Aesopic Definition.

Brain Drain. = "The emigration of a large number of a country's highly skilled and educated population to countries where they can expect to find better economic and social opportunities".

             A common fallacy informs the literature on African refugees

and needs to be debunked forthwith. This trajectory assumes that those of

us who are highly skilled, particularly the intellectuals, have any wish to

stay in the lands of our first refuge. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to return home after a fifteen-year

sojourn in a foreign land knows , from the time you step back in your

country , that your time overseas has been wasted; that your generational

cohort has been developing while your homestead has remained stagnant,

or suffered untold delapidation.
The idea of foreign lands as the lands of

hope and opportunity calls for a reappraisal.

        The anxiety of exile does not lessen with the passing of years; quite

the contrary. There is nothing as bad as the experience of dislocation in a

foreign country for reasons that are not of one's own choosing.

The willing immigrant scholar who has chosen where and when to go in the

recent past does not share this anxiety with those of us who literally had to

flee from our own motherlands in the 1970s and 1980s . For many of us

the site for research remains the home countries, while the former might

well choose to be citizens of the globalization era and anchor their

researches in some "postcoloniality" . For the majority of us, however,

the location of our research remains the home countries ,and yet with

extended exile our research can only suffer because we are three or four

aeroplane connexions  removed from the day to day local experiences that

inform the practices of everyday life. The adage may well be true for my

generation that east or west, home is best.

                                         The New Optimism

             A google search on the internet indicates that there is some

renewed hope at the global level involving such diverse institutions as the

World Bank, African governments, external donors,UNESCO, the African

Economic Research Consortium, and the Task Force on Higher Education

and Society .  In part this has come about because the external donors

have "rediscovered"   higher education in Africa after nearly two

decades, during which period the Bank in particular stressed the need for

primary education at the expense of higher education. Such hope, however,

is tempered by the fact that sufficient  harm has been already done. There

are fewer than two million students enrolled in higher education in sub-

Saharan Africa out of a population of approximately 627 million. 

          This means that Africa needs to go back to the drawing board and

"involve herself in capacity building in human resources and infrastructure

development, including infrastructure such as roads and communication

facilities, and institutional infrastructure, such as financial institutions,

courts, democratic structures, and educational systems".

            The  pertinent question remains , however. Is Africa now attuned to

define its own purposes for development, or are we simply to remain on the

track of "catching up with the global economy" ? What are Africa's

own endogenously-defined goals in this chequered drawing-board of


          Let me get back to my habitus, the University system, and perhaps

end where I began. What do African universities need ? It is obvious to me 

and to others that :

              [1]"There is an urgent need in sub-Saharan Africa to build the

capacity of  academic staff to meet the growing demand for education. This

involves more than simply pushing more graduate students through the

education pipeline and into teaching and research positions, which in itself

is a major problem", given the reality of the prevalent  brain drain.

             [2] The greater challenge is to develop and retain an academic

corps competent in the transition from current economies and government

practices to ones competent to compete in a knowledge-based

society. "These skills include problem solving and the ability to produce

knowledge in the context of applications in real-life situations." 

      To which I would add:

        [3 ]The need for dexterity at multi- disciplinarity and  intra -

disciplinarity. This will often mean retooling, the ability to learn new

methods and techniques of acquiring knowledge. The Americans have a

word for it: they say one is a "quick-pick" if you learn fast, and quickly.

Certainly the old idea of being stuck in the same groove, teaching the

discipline one learnt as an undergraduate till retirement will not suffice in

the new circumstances. As William Saint observes:-

                       "Tertiary education in the future will be based much less on

                          academic disciplines and more on transdiciplinary study.

                          Great emphasis will be placed on one's ability to learn

                          independently, communicate effectively with others,

                          collaborate productively in teams and groups, show cultural

                         and social sensitivity, demonstrate flexibility, accept social

                         responsibilities. Media competence will become a

                         universally required skill".

    Article 9 of the World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty-

First Century similarly reiterates " the acquisition of skills, competences

and abilities for communication, creative and critical analysis, independent

thinking and team work in multicultural contexts,
where creativity also

involves combining traditional or local knowledge and know-how with

advanced science and technology."   Similarly, at the leading universities

in the West there is a renewed emphasis on initiating and deepening next-

generation interdisciplinary programs.

{It is a Brave New World out there , indeed!  Thank God I will not

live to see it!}

          [4] Next, as observed by Saint and others, "The role  and function of

the University Library must be given particular attention during any

strategic planning process." They add, correctly ,"For this transformation to

occur, tertiary institutions managers and library administrators will need to

understand and support the evolution of the role of the library from

handmaiden to full partner in the academic enterpriseŠThis implies a

significant change in the job descriptions, employment qualifications, and

professional status of African university librarians ".

         [5] Much more needs to be known by the general run of the academic

faculty about what already exists in the field. Certainly the Association of

African Universities has to cease being an exclusive club of Rectors, Vice-

Chancellors and Presidents
who arrogate to themselves the title of "the

stakeholders", and aim at letting the ordinary faculty know about what it

already can do for them
by way of academic exchanges, Fellowships and

Scholarships, Regional Networks for Training and Research

, multidisciplinary and Subject Conferences, all aimed at endogenous

capacity building in Africa.

              [6] New forums like the African Economic Research

Consortium must  learn to communicate with individual faculty, especially

with those based in Africa and at the beginning of their research careers,

instead of constituting themselves as committees of experts.

            [7] There is still a need to cultivate a critical mass of academics in

the African continent, not just in terms of numbers but in terms of attitudes,

discourses and ultimate concerns. We need to cultivate within Africa an

academic culture that sustains 'a life of the mind,'  and that encourages

what Kwame Nkrumah used to refer to as  a culture of intellection.   In

keeping with the new  Strategic Plan of The Association of African

Universities , the African University must "aspire to the strategic role of a

catalyst for analytical thinking".   This aspiration is not that self-evident

in African universities at present. A visit to the Faculty Clubs and Senior

Common Rooms in Africa is none too edifying in this regard. The visitor to

these  popular haunts quite often  runs into mundane  bar-type gossip  quite

unworthy and unbefitting these presumed centers of excellence. It is at this

juncture that academics in the diaspora become relevant, for they can

provide important means of linkage and support for the development of an

academic culture back in Africa.

           [8] The situation is made worse by the practice of political patronage

at our public universities. For many senior administrators there is an

explicit patronage with regard to employment that extends from the Vice-

Chancellors to the lowliest cleaner. It is about time that appointments , at

the senior levels at least, were open to talent and not limited to the few  who

are deemed to be "politically correct" or politically connected.  Among

other things these politically correct people misappropriate the meager

resources of the universities with impunity. For evidence from  the newest

public  Kenyan University Charles Ngome writes:

                            " During the 1995-1996 financial year, Maseno University
                                lost over  US$ 666,667, most of it through rip-offs and

                                false allowance payments. This same culture of

                                  corruption is partly responsible for the stalled projects

                               that were begun in the mid-1980s in most of the

                              UniversitiesŠ.In spite of such rampant corruption and

                              the availability of evidence documenting it by the

                            Auditor General[s'] Office, vice-chancellors, principals of

                             university constituent colleges, and other senior

                              government operatives[commonly referred to as

                              "politically correct people"] are never arrested and

                             prosecuted for blatant theft from the public and the


Need one say more, especially about some of our friends in high places ?

Suffice it to reiterate that "merit and respect for professionalism should be

paramount in the employment and utilization of highly trained manpower,

..and that our governments and countries should be guided by these

requirements as part of their armament for the fight against the "brain

drain" . "

           [9] Above all, the challenge facing the African university is how to

retain its academic faculty in face of the challenges offered by the

International Financial Institutions, Research Consortiums, as well as the

piece of mind  [the sine qua non for any academic reflection ]that even very

junior North American Community Colleges are bound to offer the African

academic. Given the path we have traveled in the past thirty years, we must

end with Chinua Achebe , for  "The lizard that jumped from the iroko tree

said it would praise itself even if no one else would".  How did we

survive , almost intact , through that  long nightmare of humiliation, 

detentions, exile and social death   ?

**  I want to thank Professors Kennell Jackson, Jr.[Stanford University], Ali A. Mazrui[ Binghamton],  Francis Nyamnjoh [CODESRIA], Theodora Olunga Ayot [Northside Chicago], Robert M. Maxon {University of West Virginia], William Robert Ochieng'[Maseno University], Norma Kriger[ Ohio State University], James Ogude [University of the Witwatersrand], Fred Owino [African Academy of Sciences], D.A.Masolo [University of Louisville] , Elias Bongmba [Rice University], Gregory Maddox [Texas Southern University, Houston] and John Oyaro Oucho [University of Botswana ], and Dr. Ed Rege [ILRI],  for their hearty responses to earlier drafts of this paper.

  Lameck Goma, 1989. "The African Brain Drain: Investment in and Utilization of Human Capital", in Alexander  A Kwapong & Barry Lesser [eds], Capacity Building and Human Resource Development in Africa, Dalhousie University: The Lester Pearson Institute for International Development, p.95.

   Damtew Teferra.2003. "Scientific Communication and Research in African Universities: Challenges and Opportunities in the Twenty-First Century", in Damtew Teferra& P.G. Altbach [eds], African Higher Education: An International Reference Book, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, p.129.

  Teferra, Ibid.p129-130.


 Teferra, ibid.p.130.

  Aime Cesaire. 1956. Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. Paris: Presence Africaine.

  See for example Nick Gatheru Wnjohi, 2004. "Africa would be far beyond most developed countries had its sons and daughters who fled for greener pastures and politically safe havens abroad been given the right employment opportunities,renumeration and a secure socio-political environment".Speech Given by Prof. Nick Gatheru Wanjohi, Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture at  the Africa's Brain Gain Press Briefing Luncheon at  the Nairobi Safari Club[Lilian Towers] on 24th August 2004. p.1-2.

  For a rationalization of  my type of cynicism see Lameck Goma, op.cit. p.97.

  Eisenstadt , S.N. & S. Rokkan. 1973. Building States and Nations. 2 Vols. Beverley Hills: Sage.

  J. Isawa Elaigwu & Ali A. Mazrui 1993. "Nation-Building and Changing Political Structures", in Ali A. Mazrui [ed], UNESCO GENERAL HISTORY OF AFRICA, VOL.VIII, Berkeley: Heinemann, p.446.

  Sauti Ya TANU, No. 47:, "Msingi Ya Demokrasi"as reprinted in Barongo, E.B.M. 1966.Mkiki Mkiki wa Siasa Tnaganyika. Dar es Salaam, East African Literature Bureau, as cited in Steven Feierman, 1990, Peasant Intellectuals: Anthropology and History in Tanzania, Madison : The University of Wisconsin Press, p. 226.

  Goran Hyden, 1969. Political Development in Rural Tanzania. TANU Yajenga Nchi. Nairobi: East African Publishing House.

  Robert J. Berg. 1998. "Models of Social and Economic Development", in John Middleton [ed] , Encycopedia of Sub-Saharan Africa, Vol I , New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, p.430.

  E.S. Atieno Odhiambo. 2002.  "Bethwell A. Ogot and the Crucible of African Scholarship, 1964-1980", in Toyin Falola & E.S. Atieno Odhiambo [eds], The Essays of Bethwell Allan Ogot: The Challenges of History and Leadership in Africa, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, pp.xv-xvii.

  Gary Stewart, 2000.Rumba on the River. London : Verso.

  One of us, Abraham John Nkinyangi, left Stanford University on the same day he defended his thesis in 1980 to return to Nairobi University's Institute of Development Studies!

  Kilemi Mwiria. 1993.University Education in East Africa. The Quality Crisis. Nairobi: Kenyatta University [mimeo].

  For Kenya see Savage, D.C. & Taylor, C. 1991. "Academic Feedom in Kenya",Canadian Journal
of African Studies 25 [2]:308-320.

  E.S. Atieno Odhiambo. 1987. "Democracy and the Ideology of Order in Kenya", in Michael G. Schatzberg [ed], The Political Economy of Kenya", New York: Praeger, pp.177-201.

   B.K. Campbell& John Loxley,[ eds] 1989, Structural Adjustment in Africa,  New York: St. Martin's Press ; Adebayo Olukoshi, 2003. "Structural Adjustment Programs", in Paul Tiyambe Zeleza & Dickson Eyoh [eds], Encycopedia of Twentieth-Century African History,  New York: Routledge, pp.533-536; Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis & Ousssenia Alidou [ eds], A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles against Structural Adjustment in African Universities. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

  E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, 2002. "Hegemonic Enterprises and Instrumentalities  Of Survival: Ethnicity and Democracy in Kenya", African Studies 61 [2]:223-249.

   Joanne van Selm, 2003. The Refugee Convention at Fifty: A View From Forced Migration Studies, New York: Lexington Books.

  E.S.Atieno Odhiambo. 2004.  "Ethnic Cleansing and Civil Society in Kenya 1969-1992", Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 22 [1]: 29-42.

  Mahmood mamdani, 1996.Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton: Princeton University press.

  E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, loc. cit. p.41

  Irene L. Gendzier. 1985.Managing Political Change: Social Scientists and the Third World. Boulder ,Colo. : Lynne Rienner.

  Goran Hyden. 1998. "Development", in John Middleton [ed], Encyclopaedia of Sub-Saharan Africa, Vol. 1 , New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, pp.424-429. See also Lyn Ilon, 2003."Foreign Aid Financing of Higher Education in Africa", in Damtew Teferra & Philip G. Altbach[eds], African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp.61-72.

  Arturo Escobar. 1994. Encountering Development . New Haven: Princeton University Press.

  Robert Bates, 1989. Beyond the Miracle of the Market:The Political Economy of Agrarian Development in Kenya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  Damtew Teferra, 2003. "Scientific Communication and Research in African Universities: Challenges and Opportunities in the Twenty-First Century", in D. Teferra& P.G. Altbach [eds],African Higher Education: An International Handbook, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp.128-142.

   Joel Samoff & Bidemi Carrol. 2004. "The Promise of Partnership and the Continuities of Dependence: External Support to Higher Education in Africa", African Studies Review , 67 [1] : 67-200.

   Richard Fehnel. 2003. "Massification and Future Trends in African Higher Education" ,                              in Damtew Teferra & Philip G. Altbach [eds] ,2003. African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press,pp 73-81.

  Association of African Universities, 2003. Strategic Plan, 2003-2010. Final Draft. Accra: African Universities House, p.1

  Charles Ngome.2003. Kenya", in Teferra& Altbach, op. cit. p369.

  Lameck Goma, op.cit. p. 97

  Peter Anyang' Nyong'o ,2004, ibid. p.2

  Teferra& Altbach   op.cit. p.9.

  William Saint, 2003."Tertiary Distance Education and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa", in Damtew Teferra & Philip G. Altbach, op. cit. pp.93-110.

  David Leonard , 1991. Africa's Successes. Four Public Managers of Kenyan Rural Development. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  Steven Feierman. 1990. Peasant Intellectuals: Anthropology and History in Tanzania, Madison : The University of Wisconsin Press.

  E.S. Atieno_Odhiambo, 2004. "Hegemonic Enterprises and Instrumentalities of Survival: Ethnicity and Democracy in Kenya", in Bruce Berman, Dickson Eyoh & Will Kymlicka [eds], Ethnicity & Democracy in Africa, Oxford: James Currey, pp.167-182.

  Achille Mbembe, 2001a. Ways of Seeing: Beyond the New Nativism", African Studies Review 44 [2] ; and Achille Mbembe , 2001b.  On the Postcolony. Berkeley: The University of California Press.

  Richard Fehnel,  in Teferra& Altbach, op.cit. p.73.

  Association of African Universities. 2003. Strategic Plan 2003-2010. Final Draft. Accra: African Universities House, p.i.

  World Bank 2000 .Little Data Book. Washington, DC: World Bank.

  Fehnel,  in Teferra & Altbach, op.cit. p.74.

  Fenhel , in Teferra& Altbach, op.cit, p.74

  Noam Chomsky, 2004. "Reflections on Power and Globalization", in Henry Veltmeyer[ed],Globalization and Antiglobalization,  London: Ashgate, pp.139-153.

  Fehnel, in Teferra & Altbach  op.cit. p .79

   Fehnel, ibid, p. 79

  Saint, in Teferra & Altbach, op.cit., p. 108

  UNESCO 1998. World Declaration on Higher Education For The Twenty-First Century: Vision and Action. Paris, UNESCO.

  Rice University. School of Humanities. Case Prospectus. 09/20/04.

  Saint. in Teferra& Altbach op.cit. p. 100

  Kwame Nkrumah, 1964. Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization and Development With Particular Reference to the African Revolution . New York: Monthly Review Press.

  Association of African Universities, 2003. Strategic Plan 2003-2010. Final Draft. Accra: African Universities House, p.2

   Charles Ngome, 2003. "Kenya", in Teferra & Altbach op.cit. p.370.

  Lameck Goma, op.cit. p.99.

  Chinua Achebe. 1996.  Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann.

  Orlando Patterson. 1982. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.