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Abstract

Over the last three decades, Kenya and many other countries in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) have experienced rapid emigration to the developed world. The general view is that emigration from developing countries especially Africa has led to brain drain and brain waste. However, recent research on emigration from Mexico provides evidence of significant gains from emigration. This recent finding highlights the importance of looking at individual countries' diasporas. In this review paper, I focus on trends in the Kenyan diaspora. More importantly, I summarize what we know from the literature and data on Kenya with respect to issues of brain drain and waste. Based on present evidence, I find that Kenya has experienced significant brain drain and waste. However, the rates of both brain drain and brain waste are on the decline for Kenya. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 4 million additional health professionals are urgently needed in 57 countries, 36 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (World Health Organization, 2006). This report states that not enough health workers are being trained or recruited where they are most needed. Moreover, an increasing number are joining a brain drain of qualified professionals who are migrating to better-paid jobs in richer countries.