For those who do not know, May 25th is the official African Liberation Day. The theme for this year was ‘Forging closer links between Africa and the diaspora’, this meeting took place only a week before the UN high level meeting on HIV/AIDS which is exactly why I am very much interested.

It is a coincidence that these two important meetings were held during the same time  frame but it is no surprise that Africa ia losing many of its citizens to the developing world. People keep migrating for various reasons: education, economic factors and health reasons just to mention a few. In Zimbabwe for instance a lot of workers in the healthcare sector have moved abroad for better opportunities. How does  this affect Africa especially now that we are waging a war against HIV/AIDS?

To simply state it, the consequences of HIV/AIDS are more when people keep fleeing the continent. Teachers who go abroad to seek better opportunities leave a vacuum in their respective countries and as a result people do not the required education, without education the cycle of poverty continues and poverty is the major reason why more than 22 million people in Sub- Saharan Africa are infected with HIV.

I’m not in any way trying to criticise people in the diaspora, I’m only saying that sometimes people do not really want to leave home but they have to. The issue of brain drain should not be over looked because it is really crucial to Africa’s development. The governments of African countries will have to find ways of ensuring that they don’t lose their educated citizens to the western world.

The theme of the conference depicts that there is a need to build a relationship between Africans in the diaspora and Africans in the motherland. The UN also declared that 2011 is the year for People of African Descent!!!!!