Remittances and the Power of the Diaspora

by Developed Africa 4. July 2013 09:00

The African diaspora is slowly becoming a major topic in international development as a recent piece on the World Bank blog shows. This article highlights the financial heft of the diaspora and how these finances could be better managed and invested to benefit the continent,

Remittances are the money that migrants send back to their home countries to sustain their families. In the case of Africa it is estimated that 120 million people benefited from the US$60 billion sent home by 30 million migrants in 2012. While most of these flows are used for consumption, they could have a greater development impact if a larger portion was saved in banks by recipients and channeled into productive investment such as microenterprise activities.

This link between remittances and financial inclusion was the main topic discussed in a Forum organized by the World Bank in Brussels on May 16th, bringing together representatives of francophone African countries and Diaspora communities with several development partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the African Union Commission (AUC), who with European Commission (EC) funding and World Bank implementation, are collaborating to address this issue with concrete action.

In effect, the occasion served to sensitize the audience to the creation of the African Institute for Remittances (AIR) as a specialized Institute at the AUC, whose broad objective is precisely to leverage remittances for social and economic development. As an African-led initiative, AIR aims to help countries manage remittance flows by providing them with technical assistance, capacity-building and research, as well as engaging in advocacy with the public and private sectors. With four African countries offering to host the Institute, the project is currently awaiting a decision by AU Member States on its location."

[Read the whole article here]

If you interested in finding out more about diaspora based development schemes, check out Project Diaspora (temporarily offline while they redevelop their website), the Africa-Europe Diaspora Platform or the World Bank's own African Diaspora Program.

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Categories: Diaspora | Remittances

Welcome to Developed Africa

by Developed Africa 19. June 2013 09:00

“A new, inclusive way of doing business in Africa,” Ben Oguntala, CEO of Developed Africa

This website is a new kind of resource for anybody interested in Africa. We foster partnerships between people with big ideas and those searching for new opportunities in a rapidly developing market. We believe that commercial engagement with and investment in African projects is the best way for the continent to develop. The problem is the information deficit that makes companies outside Africa hesitant to do business on the continent.

There are many myths and preconceptions about working in Africa. Much of this stems from the lack of easily accessible information on proposed projects. This website will make such information incredibly easy to search and digest. It also provides a platform for Opportunity Providers to gain a new platform for their ideas.

For too long, development in Africa has been dominated by Western-backed, donor-dominated non-profit models. While these mechanisms have achieved some successes, the development of commercial partnerships is the next step, allowing greater sustainability and initiatives that truly reflect the needs and desires of the people. The aid model creates a systematic imbalance between donors and recipients and a bias against the treatment of African opportunities as serious commercial projects. Developed Africa’s objective is to bring balance to the relationship between developed and developing countries by providing a platform on which all parties can engage as equals.

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