The Retention of Highly Skilled Returnees in Mozambique: An Institutional Approach

This research demonstrated that institutions do not operate isolated from other contextual factors for the political, economic and social development of an African state. But this research also demonstrated that (i) new policies and institutions can shape those other contextual variables if (ii) governments are informed of how interdependent variables are and if, accordingly, (iii) they prioritize interventions for institutional development given the very scarce resources available. More specifically, this research suggests that by promoting the retention, and also the return, of highly skilled citizens African countries can experience substantial growth in the stock of the education level of their populations in a much shorter time than if relying exclusively on the prospective of a better educated future generation. While the focus of this research was on the relationship between individual behavior and contextual conditions in Mozambique, this research also suggests that in an era of “brain circulation” institutional design directed towards the highly skilled has a better chance of achieving its goals if conceived within a global partnership framework.