Kofi Tonto, Executive Director
A 28 year old Ghanaian living in the United States of America (USA) is seeking to curb the high incidence of brain drain affecting the country.
Brain drain or human capital flight refers to the emigration of intelligent, well-educated individuals for better pay or conditions, causing their places of origin to lose skilled people, or “brains.”
Brain drain is common in developing nations, particularly in Africa and other British colonies across the world.
But Kofi Tonto who is a Senior Data Analyst has set up the African Youth Excellence, Inc. (AYE) to help reduce or better still curb the phenomenon.
AYE which was formerly launched last week is a non-profit organization committed to honing and developing the skills and talents of young Africans in the U.S.
The study abroad program is designed for second year and up U.S. college students who are enrolled in a four-year accredited university with the aim of making the African youth in the diaspora aware of and tap into the continent’s economic potentials, and ultimately, reverse brain drain.
It is uniquely designed for young Africans in the U.S. to study, intern, research and explore opportunities in Africa for a semester and offers participants a first-hand experience of the continent, thus, better appreciate Africa’s economic terrain while exploring lucrative business opportunities which will birth expanded networks and professional growth.
AYE believes that once participants have gained the necessary academic training and field experience, they would be better equipped to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in a continued effort to enhance the development of the continent.
The organization hopes that its students’ success stories will serve as a motivation for graduates in Africa to stay and explore business opportunities rather than travel.
To achieve this goal, AYE has partnered with successful Africa-based educational and corporate institutions to create academic and career-oriented opportunities for young Africans who participate in this study abroad program.
Currently, AYE has partnered with the University of Ghana-Legon (UG) as well as the Ghana Consulate General in New York and other entities to ensure smooth procurement of all traveling documents for its students.
Plans are far advanced to bring on board corporate organizations in diverse sectors where students would intern.
As said by the Executive Director, “we believe the continent needs more brains than aid.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu