News 2008

 

As Elsewhere, America Sucks Essential Talent Out of Kenya

February 12th, 2008 by William Kern



It isn’t lost on people in other countries that America is a magnet that attracts their best talent - and it s often resented. With Kenya in flames after a contested election, some in that country feel that it might be better if some of those talented people were persuaded to return or remain in Kenya. According to X.N. Iraki of Kenya’s The Standard, “This ’skimming of the cream’ from around the world has allowed America to retain her competitive edge. So instead of competing with you, America simply co-opts you … Remember - America won the race to the Moon through providing refuge to fleeing scientists from Russia and Eastern Europe.”

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February 10, 2008

By X.N. Iraki

Kenya - The Standard - Original Article

Bookmakers in Kenya today aren’t preoccupied with who’ll win [the next football match] between Cameroon and Egypt.

They are preoccupied with who is on the “list” of top ten Kenyans not likely to receive U.S. visas. Comments by the American Ambassador that a number of Kenyans would be barred from the land of opportunity sent a chilling message to a number of high ranking Kenyans. Even before the names have been released, his statement has worked wonders. A few “top” Kenyans are already speaking in tongues over it.

But why should such suggestion send shockwaves? Have you noticed how quickly the Government reacted? Have you heard the statements from both sides of the political divide?

To most of the Kenyans “who matter,” going to the United States has long been a badge of “arrival.” The failure to obtain such a visa is considered a demotion - but it’s also more than that. Either through business or family, most prominent Kenyans have deep ties to the U.S. Have you ever wondered why dual citizenship is so popular [among the elite] when most Kenyans don’t even have a passport?

Perhaps it’s time to ask this basic question: What attracts us to the United States? Or is it that the United States attracts us?

America has been a magnet since the founding of the Kenyan republic [1964]. Many people switch passports every year. The thing that captures the attention of Kenyans is the profile of most new immigrants to the United States.

These include scientists, writers, actors, lawyers, inventors, doctors and entrepreneurs. Our own Bernard Lagat [athlete ] switched passports that recently - and many do so unnoticed.

This “skimming of the cream” from around the world has allowed America to retain her competitive edge in most sectors. So instead of competing with you, America simply co-opts you - and America is teaching some European countries the same.

Remember - America won the race to the Moon through providing refuge to fleeing scientists from Russia and Eastern Europe.

RACE TO LAND OF FORTUNE

This policy is explicit and makes it easier for people with talent to either visit America or stay on. The annual green card lottery increases the mystique of going to America. No doubt the media, which is often U.S. funded, has played a role in creating this American mystique. You never see an American dying in war or terrorist attacks. Neither do you see disabled or mentally deranged - unless in movies.

 

 

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