A 2009 report from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) notes that some 30 million African workers outside their countries send home approximately $40 billion a year in remittances. But with only as many “payout” locations on the continent as in one Latin American country (Mexico), the process is expensive and dominated by two large money transfer companies which work primarily with banks. There are large untapped opportunities for lower costs, particularly for rural Africans, if more governments allowed and fostered the participation of post offices and micro-finance institutions in remittance transfers.
A 4-page newsletter, Financing Facility for Remittances, with a report on the 2009 Global Forum on Remittances is at:http://www.ifad.org/remittances/newsletter/1.pdf
For statistics on remittances to and within Africa, see: http://www.ifad.org/remittances/maps/africa.htm
For a previous AfricaFocus Bulletin on remittances, see:
“Africa: Sending Money Home,” at
END editor’s note