The lost talents …how Ghanaian graduates make a living in China


Many Ghanaian students who have successfully completed their studies at various universities in China prefer to stay and work in the East Asian country rather than return home and contribute their quota to economic development of their home country.

These students – whose education in the world’s second-largest economy were either funded by the Chinese government as part of the ongoing cooperation between China and Ghana in the area of education, or by the government of Ghana-funded Scholarship Secretariat – opt to teach English in the Asian country for a bigger pay cheque instead of returning home.

Daniel Asare, who graduated from a medical school in Hainan – a province in China, tells B&FT that he prefers to teach English Language in Sanya, a city in Hainan Province, rather than come to Ghana to practice as a physician.

His reason? “I teach Chinese children English as a private work; but trust me, I make double the salary a medical doctor makes in Ghana. So, tell me why I should go back home?

“I make between 10,000 Yuan (GHȼ7,040) and 15,000 Yuan (GHȼ10,000) every month through teaching, but how much is a medical doctor’s salary in Ghana? So, I prefer to teach than to practice medicine in Ghana,” he said.

His colleague, Emmanuel Asamoah, had a similar story to tell. He is not convinced that he can make it in Ghana because of how much he is earning in China.

The two medical school graduates are just two of the over 80 Ghanaian students schooling and or working in Hainan Province alone.

The number of Ghanaian students and professionals living and working in Beijing, the capital of China, who have refused to come back home after their various studies is far higher.

Some have lived there for six years after completing their university education and have been able to integrate into Chinese society.

Anthony Kwami, an IT specialist who successfully completed his master’s degree in a university in Beijing and has successfully registered his business here in China, says the opportunity to make a decent income is higher in Beijing than Accra.

Kwami, who has a valid work permit, was quick to say though it is not easy to make a living here, it is better than doing business in Ghana.

“China has a population of about 1.4billion, so imagine if you have even 0.01 percent of that population as your customers; you can survive better than doing business in Ghana, where getting a market for your products and services is always difficult.

“China has the market, so no matter what services or product you bring to the market, you will get people to patronise it. Remember, too, that Internet penetration is huge here; so, there is market for IT professionals,” he said.

China is the second-largest economy in the world with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over 82.7trillion Yuan and boasts a robust manufacturing sector that is creating jobs for millions of its citizens.

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