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Exploring barriers to remittances: Recommendations and action

Exploring barriers to remittances: Recommendations and action

10 October, 2019    

The Global Forum on Migration and Development 

Remittance flows represent an increasingly important source of income for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Remittances act as key sources of financial support for households: they reduce the likelihood of impoverishment, contribute to improved health and education and provide greater resilience to financial shocks. To maximise formal remittance impact in the region, the true cost of sending and receiving the funds needs to drop so as to incentivise higher formal flows. This includes a reduction in the cost for sending remittances as well as improved access for senders and recipients at the first and last mile.

The value of formal remittances sent into the region is stopped growing in 2016. Remittance senders are migrating to informal channels because SSA still has the most expensive corridors in the world, both in terms of sending funds from outside as well as accessing the funds within the region.

The “Commitments to Action” event, in partnership with Investing in Rural People (IFAD) and the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), aims to stimulate discussions that:

  • Explore the roles of public and private sector entities in Africa that are involved in the remittance market, central banks and other regulatory authorities in promoting the concrete implementation of relevant goals and targets of the SDGs, as well as of objectives 19 and 20 of the GCM
  • Promote multi-stakeholder partnerships to develop practical solutions for implementing the 2030 Agenda and the GCM in the continent, specifically with regard to migrants’ contribution to development
  • Explore options for African national and local level policy-makers to enhance positive effects of migration and remittances in the transformation of rural areas, in response to the 2019 GFMD Roundtable 3.2
  • Present concrete examples and strategies of successful initiatives at national, regional and global level in Africa – such as the PRIME Africa Initiative – aimed at maximising remittances for sustainable development and promoting financial inclusion for migrants and their families

Cenfri Technical Director and payments expert, Barry Cooper will present research on the seven-part barriers to remittances series.

This body of research identifies the most prominent corridors within and into SSA in terms of volume, cost and importance for the economy. It also investigates the relationship between remittance flows and migration patterns, which is used as a proxy to identify pain points in specific corridors. This report is aimed at remittance stakeholders, policymakers and anyone who is interested in understanding the remittance market in SSA in more detail.


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