AfDB Supports the Africa Remittances and Money Transfer Markets Forum

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From: 04/06/2013
To: 06/06/2013
Location: Praia, Cape Verde

Remittances represent a rising source of finance for the continent and hold immense potential as drivers of economic growth and development. A recent study, Leveraging Migration for Africa: Remittances, Skills, and Investments, conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the World Bank shows that remittance flows into Africa reached US $40 billion in 2010 and have quadrupled since 1990. African remittances currently account for 2.6 per cent of GDP, a figure that in some countries equals or even exceeds both foreign direct investment and aid.

Remittance-receiving households are usually associated with reductions in poverty, increased household consumption, greater investment in human and physical capital, and less vulnerability from economic and natural shocks. Reducing the costs of remittances and maximizing their impact on development is a key objective for the AfDB.

The AfDB, through its Migration and Development Fund, also supports support local initiatives and those from the diasporas aimed at improving knowledge of remittances, reducing the costs of transfers, optimizing the use of the resources transferred, and supporting local development in migrant home countries.

The Africa Remittances and Money Transfer Forum will take place from June 6-7, 2013 at the Palace of the National Assembly, in Praia, Cape Verde. The forum aims at developing new strategies and policies to use remittances as drivers for economic growth and poverty reduction.

The event will offer a unique platform for money transfer operators to meet regulators and for action plans for lowering remittance costs, simplifying and harmonizing legislation, increasing market competition, and minimizing risk.

Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, banks, money transfer operators, mobile technology and telecoms companies, legal advisors, development finance institutions (DFIs), multilateral organizations and regional economic communities (RECs) will have the opportunity to find shared solutions and forge new partnerships.

The forum will explore the economic implications and potential of remittances in Africa, as well as discuss ways to bring informal remittance flows into the formal financial system. Participants will learn about the latest mobile technologies and financial services.

While a large share of Africa’s remittances is controlled by a few international money transfer operators, a large proportion of African migrants still prefer informal transfer mechanisms.

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