New migration study reveals massive drain of Ghanaians
The International Organization for Migration says an increasing number of qualified, educated young Ghanaians are migrating to foreign countries.
It says the "brain drain" could affect the country's economic and development prospects.
According to a new report put together by the IOM many educated Ghanaians who are unable to find suitable employment at home are going abroad in search of work.
The IOM says a growing number of highly skilled young Ghanaian professionals are heading toward countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
The report, for instance, shows that 56 percent of the doctors who are trained in Ghana and 24 percent of the nurses trained in Ghana are now working abroad.
It adds that 60 percent of faculty positions in polytechnics for instance and 40 percent of positions in university remain vacant because there simply are not enough qualified people to take up those positions.
IOM says the “brain drain," which has been increasing since the 1990s, is worsening labour shortages in critical sectors such as health and education and says Ghana does not have enough qualified teachers to train the next generation of nurses and doctors.
IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy blames poor working conditions and the lack of opportunities for career advancement as the main reasons pushing qualified Ghanaians to seek greener pastures abroad.
The IOM estimates the number of Ghanaians living abroad at between one-and-a-half and three million.
It however says a positive impact of this growing emigration is a dramatic increase in remittances to Ghana from 476 million dollars in 1999 to nearly two billion dollars in 2008.
The report recommends Ghana create programs to encourage qualified Ghanaians to return to home for short periods of time so they can impart their skills to young people at home.