The Emigration Wars

In South Africa as well as many other developing countries throughout the world there are the makers, the doers and the flat-out geniuses. These are the people that can go toe-to-toe with any of their type in a first world country. These are the people that no matter where they are will make a difference (and a lot of money). The sad part is that they are emigrating to the countries that are better off and this is causing the developing countries to lose out on the very talent that would help them to improve and expand there economies for the betterment of all.

In my humble opinion there are three countries that I have noticed that people from developing countries look to as the “promised land” of sorts. The biblical land of “milk and honey” if you will. These countries are the USA, Canada and Australia. I am sure that there are others but these are the major ones that I have noticed. These countries are truly amazing for their low unemployment rates and the quality of life (compared to developing countries) that the average citizen has. Furthermore there are many innovations and skills that are made in these countries that other countries, especially the developing countries, need desperately. However because these countries do so well it becomes the automatic destination for any outlier in developing countries to emigrate too.

To give just two examples of this type of pattern let us look at Mark Shuttleworth and Elon Musk. Both came from South Africa. Mark Shuttleworth made his money by selling the internet company that he had built while in South Africa while Elon Musk left before doing anything great in South Africa. How much could the country have been enriched by these minds staying in South Africa. Their paths would have probably been harder because certain opportunities and businesses are harder to set up in an emerging economy but should this really lead people to leave the country where they were raised just for greener pastures. Are we not told that the doers and the makers are the ones that do great things in spite of adversity.

The main reason for writing this article is that I am saddened by this behaviour. I empathise with these people and understand that it is both easier for them and for their children. However, I would like to make a plea to them to stay and rather uplift the developing country that they are living in. Furthermore I would like to ask that these type of people that are currently in the first-world countries consider moving to third-world countries where they can create unbelievable changes for the people in those countries.