Africa: Remittances Hit U.S. $534 Billion

Dar es Salaam — The flow of remittances to the developing world is expected to exceed the earlier estimates of $406b this year which is an increase of 6.5% over the previous year.

A new World Bank (WB) brief on global migration and remittances said the reimbursements to developing countries are projected to grow by 7.9% in 2013, 10.1% in 2014 and 10.7% in 2015 to reach $534bn in 2015.

Meanwhile, remittances to high-income countries (developed world), are expected to total $534bn in 2012, and projected to grow to $685bn in 2015, according to the latest issue of the Bank's Migration and Development Brief, released last week to East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam.

However, despite the growth in remittance flows overall to developing countries, the continuing global economic crisis is dampening remittances to some regions, with Europe and Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa especially affected, while South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to fare much better than previously estimated.

The top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2012 are India ($70bn), China ($66bn), the Philippines and Mexico ($24bn each), and Nigeria ($21bn). Other large recipients include Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Lebanon.

"Although migrant workers are, to a large extent, adversely affected by the slow growth in the global economy, remittance volumes have remained remarkably resilient , providing a vital lifeline to not only poor families but a steady and reliable source of foreign currency in many poor remittances recipient countries ," the Director of the Bank's Development Prospects Group, Mr Hans Timmer said.

Regions and countries with large numbers of migrants in oil exporting countries continue to see robust growth in inward remittance flows, compared with those whose migrant workers are largely concentrated in the advanced economies, especially Western Europe.

Thus, South Asia, MENA and East Asia and Pacific regions, with large numbers of workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, are seeing better-than-expected growth in remittances.

For South Asia, remittances in 2012 are expected to total $109b, an increase of 12.5% over 2011; East Asia and Pacific region, is estimated to attract $114b, an increase of 7.2% over 2011; while MENA is expected to receive $47b, an increase of 8.4% over the previous year.

Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean are supported by a recovering economy and an improving labor market in the United States but moderated by a weak European economy.

The region will, thus, see a modest growth of 2.9% in 2012, totaling an estimated $64bn.

In contrast, remittances are expected to remain flat to Europe and Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa regions, mainly because of the economic contractions in high-income European countries.

Remittance flows to Europe and Central Asia are estimated at a virtually unchanged $41b and $31bn to Sub-Saharan Africa this year, although both regions are projected to make a robust recovery in remittance flows in 2013.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 East African Business Week. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.