10 February 2014

Kenya: Nairobi Chosen for Remittances HQ

Dar es Salaam — The African Union (AU) Executive Council has selected Kenya to host the African Institute for Remittances (AIR).

A statement availed to East African Business Week from the World Bank, Dar es Salaam Office last week said that the Council asked the African Union Commission to conclude the Host Agreement with the Republic of Kenya in order to ensure the formal take-off of the Institute this year.

The Council also asked the World Bank and other development partners to support the Institute which is scheduled to be fully operational by 2015.

"I am delighted that the Executive Council has decided that the Republic of Kenya will host the AIR. The establishment of AIR, the first of its kind in the world, is a cornerstone in harnessing Diaspora resources for social and economic development in Africa," said Dr. Mustapha Kaloko, Commissioner of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission.

He also called upon development partners to continue supporting the Institute. Kenya is one of four member countries that had expressed interest in hosting the AIR secretariat.

The decision to select Kenya was made during the 24th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council which met between January 27 and 28, 2014 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the statement, AIR project partners agreed to the need for sustained collaboration and coordination of efforts in support of the Institute to achieve the planned improvement in the market for remittances, and to leverage their impact on development in the continent.

The partners are African Union Commission, World Bank, European Commission, African Development Bank, and the International Organization for Migration. The African Union Commission decided to set up an AIR in 2010.

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