Newly assigned to Dakar, Senegal, I must, of course, take steps to have water, electricity, internet and a bank account. For the latter, I chose a large bank for its reputation and its wide network of branches and ATMs. What follows is not fiction but a reality that I thought had disappeared years ago. Here is the story.
We have just released a Migration and Development brief prepared by our colleagues Jose Anson and Nils Clotteau of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) based in Berne, Switzerland. There are an estimated 660,000 post offices in the world, larger than all bank branches combined. In this brief, Jose and Nils explore the role that postal networks can play in providing money transfers (remittances) and basic financial services to low-income people living in developing countries, in particular those in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.