Remittances, up by 5%, reach US $65 billion: AfDB Annual Report

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Despite the financial crisis, remittances from the diaspora and foreign direct investment (FDI) to Africa have continued, with relatively large volumes in recent years. 

Remittances reached US $65 billion in 2013, an increase of 5% compared to 2012. Remittances from the diaspora should reach US $67 million in 2014. The bulk of the remittances were to North and West Africa, regions with the largest number of migrants abroad and which alone received some 80% of the total funds from the diaspora.

Regarding the origins of the remittances, 40% are from Europe, 28% from the United States, 13% from Africa itself and approximately 9% from the Middle East. The resilience of these remittances is starting to attract the interest of the public authorities and the private sector in Africa.

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have increased by almost 9%, to reach $57 billion in 2013. This increase reflects Western investors' quest for value amid general low interest rates. The bulk of FDI went to mining exploration and to building the capacity of the extractive industries.

Paradoxically, while the continent is short of investment capital, considerable financial resources continue to leave African countries illegally.