Getting the remittance system right for Africa?


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The remittances sent home every year by the African Diaspora should create a doorway to still greater opportunities, and the key to this door is financial access. While remittances do impact the living standards of beneficiaries directly, the banks that pay out the remittances month after month should offer recipient families a basic financial package including savings accounts, payment services and small loans for microenterprise.  This should facilitate growth from current levels of remittances saved and invested.  Leveraging of remittances through financial inclusion is certain to increase their development potential.

Last year, an estimated 30 million migrants sent cross-border remittances worth $60 billion to recipients in Africa, benefitting an estimated 120 million people. To better leverage these individual remittances an integral approach is required, bringing together government, banks, communities and development agencies. The authorities must regulate to promote competition, entice banks to engage with the unbanked and enable the use of new, cheaper technologies. Banks must respond by seeking new profit opportunities in providing services to remittance beneficiaries. Communities should strengthen financial literacy programs to prepare people to take advantage of their access to credit for productive purposes, with support from government, civil society and Diaspora organizations. Finally, the international development organizations must provide the technical assistance and capacity building required to coordinate and implement these activities.

Current rates to send money to most parts of Africa are far too high at an average 12 percent, compared to a global average of 8 percent. It is unacceptable that the neediest should face the highest costs, reducing the net impact of remittances. Let’s not fail to recognize the power of individual remittances for Africa’s growth. Let’s up the competition, lower prices and put Africa’s remittance dollars to work.


Soheyla Mahmoudi

Senior Operations Officer

Join the Conversation

November 07, 2013

l was quite impressed with the world bank group for this great opportunities the key to the door for financial access,am happy for this ideas and plan, connecting with the beneficiaries directly,All Africa's living in adjust poverty are happy with this News, because whatever plan the world bank group have will get to them, cos when something like this happen so of us doesn't know or it will not reach them that why there's so much poverty in Africa today,this poor people are mainly ;Framers, small scale business, and entrepreneur , they are creative,so productive so of them manufacture things using our local materials ,they are into so many things, so of this poor people are young women, men and youth, that want to start their business, no one to help or empower them,some of us want to become an entrepreneur, maybe the area some of them were before is not moving well, they want to change to the area that is more demanding, in doing this they will employ men, women and youth in the society this also reduce unemployment,yes getting the remittance system right for Africa through financial this will increase their development potential, l and all the Africa men women and youth living in poverty our thanks goes to world bank group and their team for giving New life and hope to the poor,Thanks and God bless you all.

November 08, 2013

Am very excited for the idea and plan from world bank Group this great opportunities the door for financial access dealing with the beneficiaries directly, l support getting the remittance system right in Africa, because sometimes we doesn't it doesn't get to some of us,that why there's a lot poverty in Africa today, some of us doesn't have some one to help or empower them to start business,some of us are passing through hardship,l and other Africa living in poverty really thanks world bank group for this great opportunities is going to give us New life, l thank world bank group for connecting with me not rejecting because am poor and the level of my education, thanks and God bless you all .