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The Migration and Development Fund’s oversight committee recently approved a series of grants amounting to € 1.4 million to six remittances funded local development projects across the African continent.
Six initiatives in Northern and Western Africa including Algeria, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Togo and Tunisia were funded. Four of these projects are located in the Maghreb and support private investments and implement capacity building supported by the Diaspora. The objective is to develop local entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium enterprises in underprivileged and rural areas to foster access to employment for youth and women. The project in Côte d’Ivoire aims to develop corporate social responsibility. The purpose of the project covering both Benin and Togo is to develop new financial products and e-banking to foster access to financial services in isolated areas.
The cost reduction of migrant remittances and the mobilization of these resources to complement other sources of development finance worldwide have been a subject of increased interest. The G20 included this topic in its agenda in the objective of “facilitating international remittance flows and enhancing their efficiency to increase their contribution to growth with resilience and poverty reduction”. The Migration and Development Fund and AfDB are part of this worldwide remittances cost reduction and mobilization effort, focusing their attention on the African continent where transfer costs currently remain the highest in the world.
The Fund supports reforms of the regulatory framework that governs money transfer conditions and the upgrade of operators engaged in the transfer of funds. It also aims to foster the development of new financial products, support productive investment and local development in migrants’ countries of origin.
Institutions and individuals supported by the Fund will contribute to the development of innovative financial products, generate wealth and create jobs in Africa. Moreover, members of the African diaspora will build on the social, technological and economic capital to the benefits of their countries and communities of origin.
The Fund, which was established in 2009, is funded by the French Ministry of Interior, Overseas, Local Authorities and Immigration and by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Fund aims to improve knowledge of remittances flows, reduce the costs of transfers while optimizing the use of the resources transferred and to promote and support local initiatives from the Diasporas in favor of development in the migrants’ home countries.