Samson Asiyanbi, writing from Houston, poses questions homecoming for us to answer. "Each day I read the commentaries, I'm left with more questions than answers. For me, that's actually a good thing. I'm hopeful that someone (perhaps you, since you've been silent thus far) would find my questions worthy to respond."
Here are my questions:
1. I wish someone would expound on Prof. Onwudiwe's argument about brain gain. Is the brain drain/gain dichotomy a numbers question? That is, can we adequately talk about the phenomenon by adding or subtracting experts/technocrats or must we add the non-tangible resources they export/import? If so, is there a net increase or deficit when we consider the tangibles and non-tangibles?
2. It seems to me that Nigeria (Africa, by extension) is becoming like Florida. It is the place to go on vacation and, increasingly, the place to go retire. Beside this forum, most people I've spoken to talk about returning home in the context of reducing their individual labor output work less and ultimately retire. Even if you offer many people similar status as they hold here, they will prefer the West to any African nation. And I think the reason transcends the types of issues (e.g., security, transportation, etc) already covered in this forum. Many people are just not willing to work as hard as they readily do here. Is this consistent with anyone's observation? If so, why? If not, where have I erred?
3. Where is home for first generation Nigerian-Americans (Ghanaian-, Kenyan-, SA-, Afro-Americans)? Too many first generation Nigerian-Americans embrace the glamour of the West, and they subconsciously buy into doomsday image of Africa—perhaps, they are an extension of their parents’ or popular pessimism. For example, anyone who’s attended African Students’ events would attest to an ever-present sense of Afro-optimism. That is when you hear talks about "painting positive image of Africa." But quiz a few thereafter, I bet most can't name five African capitals or four heads of states. Maybe that is asking too much after all, many Americans don't know who the president of Mexico is. But ask these Afro-optimist questions about their respective countries, most are clueless. There is a widening disconnect between the first generation and the continent. Why? What are the possibilities of bridging the gap?