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Africans in diaspora home remittance hit $40bn mark in 2010

BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU
Thirty million Africans across the globe have directly invested $40 billion into the continent economy in 2010 According to a survey carried by African Development Bank and the World Bank recently, Africans investment ranged from land purchases, building a home, and starting a business top the highest remittances by Africans in diaspora whilst education was the second-highest use of remittances from outside Africa into Nigeria and Uganda; the third highest into Burkina Faso, and the fourth highest into Kenya.

Africans in diaspora

Report on African countries remittances, skills and Investments are jointly carried out by the African Development Bank and the World Bank as part of the Africa Migration Project.

The project has the financial support of the African Development Bank; the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); the Department of International Development (DFID); the French Ministry of Immigration, Integration, Asylum and Solidarity Development; the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

A breakdown of the$40billion investment showed that Nigerians in diaspora invested 57 percent; 55 percent in Kenya; 36 percent in Burkina Faso; 20 percent in Uganda and Senegal, 15 percent.

Mr Hans Timmer, director of development prospects at the World Bank sais there is possibility for the figure to increase arising from increasing population of the continent

He said, “Migration pressures will only rise in the future as a result of demographic changes of rising population in Africa and falling labor forces in Europe and many developed countries,” said. “Therefore, adapting policy responses to demographic forces and crafting multilateral arrangements for managing future migration is essential.”

Timmer stated, “Two-thirds of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly poorer migrants, go to other countries in the region, while more than 90 percent of migrants from North Africa have moved outside the African continent.

The top destinations for African migrants are France (9 percent of total emigrants), Cote d’Ivoire (8 percent), South Africa (6 percent), Saudi Arabia (5 percent), and the United States and the United Kingdom (4 percent each).

Mr Shantayanan Devarajan, chief economist of the Africa region at the World Bank said, “Migration of skilled labor is particularly high in small and low-income African countries, which already have low levels of human capital. Fragile and post-war countries face even bigger challenges because of the flight of human capital.

African governments and policy makers should focus on increasing education and skill levels and establishing an environment in which high_skilled workers have productive opportunities at home.”

Dilip Ratha, main author of the report and lead economist at the World Bank in his on submission said African governments need to strengthen ties between Diasporas and home countries in order to  protect migrants, and expand competition in remittance markets else the potential of migration for Africa remains largely untapped.

According to Ratha, “One innovation worth considering are diaspora bonds, which are sold by governments or private companies to nationals living abroad. These bonds have already been successful in tapping into assets of Israeli and Indian citizens living abroad”.

“Sub-Saharan African countries can potentially raise $5–$10 billion a year in diaspora bonds. Countries with large diasporas in high-income countries that can potentially issue diaspora bonds include Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia in Sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia in North Africa”.


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