NEW research by a digital money transfer service provider, WorldRemit, shows that thousands of Tanzanian children who are in school, have access to books and educational supplies, thanks to digital remittances by their overseas relatives.
Findings of the research show that about 10,000 children in Tanzania are in school as a result of receiving international remittances. Children in remittance-receiving households spend less time working on non-school activities, freeing up more time for school studies.
The World Bank estimates that Tanzania received $439m in remittances in 2017, while WorldRemit research shows switching from offline to digital remittances could free up further $825m for education worldwide.
According to Country Director of WorldRemit in Tanzania, Cynthia Ponera, as millions of children in Tanzania start a new school year, their research is a timely reminder that contributions of the Diaspora are vital to the education of 10,000 children across the country.
Ms Ponera pointed further that switching to digital remittances from Tanzanians in the Diaspora would help maximise the benefits. "School-age children in Tanzania are 40 per cent less likely to be out of school if their household receives remittances while remittancereceiving households spend more on education," the survey shows.
The findings of the research were calculated using data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the World Bank and Tanzania's latest national household survey.
WorldRemit Research Director, Dr Gregory Thwaites, led the research using a combination of Unesco education statistics, World Bank remittance statistics, Tanzania's National Panel Survey and WorldRemit indicators.
About 220 million children in low- and middleincome countries are not in school across the world. WorldRemit also calculates that globally, if traditional, cash-based money transfers were replaced by lower-cost digital alternatives, there could be an additional $825m for families to spend on children's education.
Savings from "going digital" could pay for the equivalent of 20 million school uniforms, 30 million school books and 16 million sets of school supplies for children in low- and middle-income countries. "With global remittances predicted to rise in 2019, this means even more children are set to benefit," part of the survey reads.
WorldRemit is one of the leading digital money transfer companies for the Tanzanian Diaspora. Customer surveys reveal that education is one of the top priorities for Tanzanians living abroad, with many saying they support the education of children at home.
WorldRemit customers complete 1.3 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 145 destinations. More than half of its transfers go to Africa