More science and technology talented nationals emigrate to the United States from a few Asian countries, by far, than from all of Africa, yet only the latter suffers a "brain drain" whereas the former group experiences net gains as a result of "brain circulation." Brain drain is the one-way flow of talent out of countries where it is most needed in absolute terms (south) to locations where it is most needed in productive terms (the West). The paper finds that, unlike African nations, a number of Asian nations have a brain circulation or technical talent continuously cycling out of the homeland into the United States where the talent is amplified and wealth is generated as the homeland state encourages redirection of some of each to the homeland economy. In these instances, the homeland state and the US-based diaspora work collaboratively in the interest of both. African nations experience little of this brain circulation, partially as a result of weak diaspora—homeland collaborative development agendas. The principal proposition clarified in this comparative analytic project is that developing nations with ongoing collaborative technology development agendas between the homeland state and its US-based diaspora have a huge comparative advantage over those developing nations that do not.
The trade and technology regimes of WTO and TRIPS embody the values, objectives, and operational dynamics that primarily satisfy Western powers. Southern states submit to these constraining regimes only to the extent of avoiding severe penalties. They feign compliance whenever possible through "stealthy noncompliance" in order to advance their development and security. This paper addresses three issues: the West-South asymmetrical struggle over technology and trade; the role of state-supported technological development in the South; and the prospective consequences for the South relating to the restricted labor-absorbing capacity of twenty-first century technology.
This paper develops an original proposition for debate in the fields of African studies, transnationalism, environmental studies, and technology studies. Essentially, the paper posits that, for a few key reasons, Sub-Saharan Africa will not likely have an opportunity to experience industrialization with the reigning "destructo-industrial" technologies pioneered by Europeans and Americans. An industrial experience appears achievable for Sub-Saharan Africans only in the context of a new ecological economy. Not only are there no unassailable national frontrunners in this future area, but Sub-Saharan Africans have a credible opportunity of being among the leaders in the future. The process would commence with "brain circulation," the movement of Africans into rich, technologically advanced countries to have their human, economic, and social capital enhanced, some of which to be reinvested in their respective homelands, particularly in ecological industrial areas.