GHANA: Ninety-nine-year-old graduates

In February 99-year-old World War II veteran and former teacher, Akasease Kofi Boakye Yiadom, graduated from the Presbyterian University College Business School in Abetifi, Ghana.

The elderly graduate was featured on CNN's Inside Africa programme, and he took the opportunity to call on fellow graduates to be loyal and not join the brain drain.

"If it is a scant pay you have to accept it, because it is the government's money that has been used to educate you," he said. "If you have finished school and passed your degree, you have to stay in Ghana and serve Ghana."

According to the OECD's Migration Database, there are 52,370 highly skilled Ghanaians living in OECD countries, most of them in the UK and the US (statistics from 2005). But many of them do move back, temporarily or permanently.

At the Ghanaian news website GhanaWeb , discussion about the elderly graduate and his message against brain drain has been ongoing.

The signature 'African Patriot' said about Boakye Yiadom: "He is a real Ghanaian and that is how I was educated by my parents. If we continue producing...brain drain and describe it as a circulation, what is the future of Ghana? Brain drain is it, nothing else."

But Jerry Lamptey suggested it was not an option to stay in Ghana unemployed. He wrote: "You come from a poor family. Your parents squeezed water out of stone to see you through your education...You have been unemployed for 13 months after graduation. Opportunity knocks on your door...a three-year renewable contract in Europe.
Go back? To do what?"

Otechere Darko wrote that the 99-year-old had waited too long to continue his education, but that his achievement could serve "as 'a motivator' for younger Ghanaians".

Yiadom, who was 96 when he enrolled on a business course, told CNN : "Education has no end. As far as your brain can work all right, your eyes can see all right, and your ears can hear all right, if you go to school you can learn."

Blogger Nyandia Kamawe commented: "Every day I hear people including myself say, 'I am too old for'...or 'I am too old to...' ...we can all learn from this gentleman."