Wednesday 10 October 2012

Sudan suffers massive brain drain as many migrate abroad for jobs

Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Migration of the Sudanese people have noticeably increased recently as the number of the Sudanese seeking job opportunities abroad jumped to unprecedented figures.

Sudan's local media on Wednesday quoted Undersecretary at the Sudanese Ministry of Labor and Human Development Siddiq Jumma Bab- ElKhair as saying that great increases have been recorded in the number of legal migrants from Sudan this year. He said the Sudanese migrants' amounted to around 83,000, with an average increase of 100 percent compared to last year. The Sudanese Expatriates Organ said it provides over 6,000 exit visas monthly for the Sudanese who are seeking work abroad. "About 67,000 citizens migrated outside Sudan during the period early January and early August, most of them doctors and university lecturers", Karar Al-Tuhami, Secretary General of the Sudanese Expatriates Organ, told Xinhua Wednesday.

Al-Tuhami attributed the reasons behind the migration to the increase in the number of graduates besides the scarce job opportunities in the country, noting that "there are around 150, 000 university graduates who do not find jobs."  However, Al-Tuhami appeared confident that the migration of the Sudanese cadres did not have a negative impact only, but it also has advantages, noting that "the migrants feed the State's Treasury with about 6 billion U.S Dollars." He pointed out that the transfers of the Sudanese expatriates constituted a monetary mass that have kept on contributing to the Gross National Product (GNP) at a rate of 5 percent, despite the fact that the transfers go to the families and not to the State. "The expatriates' transfers can help in paying Sudan's foreign debts if better utilized", he said.

However, Abbas Al-Magammar, a Sudanese expert in economy and population migration, associated the contribution of the expatriates' transfers to the GNP with the importance of working out economic policies to encourage the migrants to transfer their earnings through the official channels. "The contribution of the Sudanese expatriates' transfers to reducing the payments balance depends on stabilizing the economy and equalizing the exchange rates at the official and black markets in addition to specifying official channels for the transfers of the expatriates with satisfactory conditions", Al- Magammar told Xinhua.

According to the Central Bank of Sudan, the transfers of the Sudanese expatriates are estimated at around 3 billion dollars, but that rate dropped to the half by 2011.  Secretary General of the Sudanese Expatriates Organ Al-Tuhami attributed the decrease in the transfers of the expatriates to the instability of the exchange rate in addition to weakness of trust between the expatriates and the banking system, not to mention the encouraging policies. Al-Tuhami further demanded the official authorities to necessarily find a mechanism to compensate around 1.5 billion dollars, which is the drop in the transfers of the expatriates in 2011.He said that the Bank of Sudan would embark on working out encouraging policies to urge the Sudanese expatriates to transfer their money through the official channels.

Director of the Research and Social Development Administration at the Bank of Sudan Mohamed Al-Hasan Al-Khalifa, meanwhile, has recently admitted that Sudan comes at the last position in terms of utilizing the expatriates' transfers in supporting the GNP compared to the other Arab countries.He said the total of the Sudanese expatriates' transfers represented around 2 to 6 percent of the GNP during (2010- 2011).

Despite the growing migration of the Sudanese people in search for job opportunities abroad, yet the Sudanese government did not express worry over the phenomenon. In this respect, Al-Sham Mohamed Hamid, Director of the General Administration for Employment and Migration at the Sudanese Ministry of Justice, attributed the growing number of the Sudanese expatriates to the growing regional demand for the Sudanese labor which is known for "being qualified and disciplined". "There is a surplus in the Sudanese labor, and therefore there is no objection for migration, particularly that the external job offers are satisfactory", she told Xinhua."There is nothing wrong with the increase in the numbers of migrants, because migration in the international conventions is an integrated work", she noted. She added that during early 2012 and August 2012, over 50183 Sudanese have migrated to a number of Arab countries, top of them Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime, local press earlier reported Khartoum State's Minister of Health Mamoun Humaida to have welcomed the expatriation of the Sudanese doctors, saying that they were not worried as there were no positions to assimilate them. On the contrary, Sudan has also been witnessing a state of illegal migration for its citizens to regional and European countries, which is surrounded with great risks. Nevertheless, the Sudanese Parliament earlier said it was planning to draft a law, during its current session, to combat human trafficking and curb up the growing illegal migration phenomenon.  (Xinhua)

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