MFW4A and AfDB Lead Efforts to Boost Support for Remittances and Diaspora Investment in Africa

Oct 29, 2018 - Oct 30, 2018 | Abidjan, Côte d'ivoire

Abidjan, November 1, 2018—MFW4A in collaboration with the African Development Bank held a Stakeholder Consultation Workshop in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on October 30-31, 2018.

The workshop provided an opportunity to present the findings and recommendations of two studies conducted this year and commissioned by the Migration and Development Fund:

  • Developing a Systematic Approach to Supporting Diaspora Investment in Africa; and
  • The Opportunities and Risks of Digitization on the Remittance Market in the WAEMU and CEMAC regions

Over 120 delegates, including high-level representatives from government ministries, central banks, telecommunication regulators, industry bodies, private sector institutions and international development institutions took part in plenary and deep-dive sessions with the overall goals of informing the main actors of the studies’ findings, and discuss and validate the conclusions and recommendations.

The workshop was opened by African Development Bank’s Executive Director of France, Belgium and Spain, Dominique Lebastard who welcomed the participants in Abidjan and recognized the importance of the two studies in supporting the goals of AfDB’s High Five Priorities. In fact, Africa has one of the largest global diaspora and one that continues to make a significant contribution to the continent’s economic development through the transfer of skills, socio-cultural influence, and not least, through the sending of remittances, which are transferred in vast volumes, largely to cover day-to-day consumption and emergency needs. Diaspora savings present another source of potential funds, which estimates around USD 50 billion in 2016. This presents a great opportunity for governments not only seeking new channels of long-term private capital necessary to bridge Africa’s funding gap, but also a learned pool of talent.

In his opening remarks, David Ashiagbor, Coordinator of the Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) said: “As African countries face major challenges in securing financing and investment needed to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…many African countries are exploring innovative new sources of financing for investment to supplement traditional domestic and external resources. And an increasingly important source is diaspora capital.” 

The quality of the discussions and engagement by the participants highlighted the relevance of the two studies. Consulting firm DMA Global presented the findings of the Diaspora Investment Study and recommendation on how donors and governments can most effectively support productive diaspora investment into Africa as a means of financing long-term economic growth and development across the continent.

A Diaspora Investment Assessment Template has been created and trialed in three countries: Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. For the other study, the Consortium of Horus Telecom & Utilities, Horus Development Finance & Behring presented a market analysis of the formal and informal remittance markets in the WAEMU and CEMAC regions, as well as opportunities and constraints associated with digital remittance services from the perspective of both the customers and service providers, including a special focus on the regulatory and institutional barriers associated with such services. Feedback from the workshop will be incorporated into the final reports, set for release in December 2018.

About the Migration and Development Fund

The AfDB has embarked with its partners, including the French government and IFAD to explore ways and means of mobilizing migrant and remittances and using them in the best interest of the recipients and migrants, as well as the development of receiving countries. A Migration and Development Fund was created in 2009 with the primary objective of promoting and supporting local initiatives and those from the diasporas aimed at reducing the costs of remittances and optimizing the use of the resources transferred.

About MFW4A

The Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) was established as a platform for financial sector development research, advocacy, knowledge management and networking. We bring together African governments, development partners, the private sector, and other stakeholders to address financial sector development priorities on the continent. Our partners (AfDB, AFD, EIB, GIZ and the Ministry of Netherlands) share a common vision of innovation, robust and competitive African financial systems, providing near-universal access by 2030, and offering a full range of products and services for the continent’s real sector.