Ghana losing skilled workers to US Green Card Lottery

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A newspaper in the African country Ghana reveals that an average of 8,000 highly trained and skilled Ghanaians leave the country annually for the US through the Green Card Lottery.

The latest worldwide figures released by the US saw Ghana ahead of the top 10 countries with the number of professionals who left the country under the scheme over the last five years, totalling 39,540.

Ghana topped the table ahead of Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Poland and Egypt whose nationals are also leaving their countries in significant numbers under the scheme.

With a total population of about 20 million, Ghana topped the Green Card Lottery Winners table in 2002 and 2003 ahead of Nigeria (130 million), Bangladesh (153 million) and Pakistan (161.1 million).

In those two years, 12,864 highly trained Ghanaian professionals left for the US under the scheme. Ghana placed second in 2000, 2001 and 2004 with a total of 22,702 leaving the country for the US.

This year, Ghana placed fifth with a total of 3,974 winning the lottery.The requirements for entering the lottery are at least 12 years of elementary and secondary schooling, equivalent to high school in the US, at least two years of work experience and "your work must have at least two years of training."

All these fit the nation's highly trained and skilled human resource such as doctors, teachers,accountants, engineers, nurses, pharmacists and lawyers whose exodus from the country has raised serious concern.