NASAC statement on the occasion of the G8+5 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy

A group of scientific academies in encourages the G8+5 countries to help stem the scientific brain drain.

“One-third of all live and work in . This outflow represents a significant loss of economic potential for the , especially in today’s where scientific and drive development.”

The critical issue of brain drain – the loss of Africa’s scientific workers to richer countries, largely in the developed world – is the focal point of concern in a statement issued by the Network of Academies (NASAC), a group of 13 merit-based science academies in Africa. The statement will be formally presented to the heads of states attending the G8+5 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, in July.

While the statement acknowledges that responsibility for addressing Africa’s brain drain rests primarily with the governments of Africa, it also asserts that external help is critical for the vast majority of that do not have sufficient resources to invest in institutions of higher education and research.

Consequently, NASAC urges the G8+5 countries to invest in the rebuilding of universities and research centers in Africa and to support young African scientists seeking postgraduate and postdoctoral training. It also calls on G8+5 countries to fund the building of regional and international in Africa, especially in areas of study of critical importance to Africa’s development, and to encourage Africa’s – African-born scientists living abroad – to participate in joint projects with scientists in Africa. And it reminds G8+5 countries that they have yet to honor the pledge they made at the G8+5 Summit in 2005 to provide US$5 billion to help rebuild universities and US$3 billion to help establish centers of scientific excellence in Africa.

The statement concludes by urging “the G8+5 countries to embrace as a collaborative enterprise where national borders count but nevertheless remain open, and where ultimately serve as bridges, not barriers, to social and economic progress.”

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