AfDB Workshop Seeks Reduced Remittance Transfer Fees to Facilitate Development

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From: 19/06/2013
To: 19/06/2013
Location: Tunis, Tunisia

Migrant money transfers in the billions

  • Worldwide, US $406 billion were transferred in 2012 by migrants to their country of origin, according to a World Bank report. This represents a 6.5% increase from 2011, and is three times higher than total official development assistance. This figure is expected to rise by 8% in 2013 and 10% in 2014. The total value of migrant money transfers is expected to reach US $500 billion by the end of 2015.
  • The Tunisian diaspora transferred US $2.282 billion in 2012 accounting for 5% of Tunisia’s GDP and 28.7% of all savings held in the country’s banks, according to the Central Bank of Tunisia. This represents a 25.4% increase from 2011, when the total value of transfers stood at US $1.486 billion, or 4.3% of GDP.

Money transfers from Tunisians living abroad: an untapped goldmine

  • 3.54 billion TND transferred to Tunisia in 2012
  • The excessive cost of sending money home
  • Tunisia bans use of the exclusivity clause
  • The banking sector to the rescue
  • Innovative new banking and market mechanisms in the pipeline

Money transfers workshop inspired by an AfDB report

A vast, 160-page AfDB report provides an in-depth discussion of the major issues concerning money transfers by migrants from five African countries in the Maghreb and the Franc Zone. More specifically, it covers Morocco and Tunisia (representing North Africa), Cameroon (representing the Economic Community of Central African States and the home of the region’s Central Bank), Comoros (representing the Oceania region) and Senegal (representing the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS).

The report, entitled Reducing the cost of migrant money transfers and maximising their impact on development: financial tools and products for the Maghreb and the Franc Zone, is based on the results of a survey conducted by experts from the NGO Epargne Sans Frontière (Savings without borders). This survey was launched in January 2008, based on recommendations made by the AfDB in a previous study entitled Migration, a key development challenge, produced in partnership with the French Government. The report was published in early 2012 and has since been the subject of a number of dedicated workshops held in the five countries concerned.