Welcome to the seventh Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID), organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank Group and the African Union, taking place at the United Nations in Nairobi on 5-7 October 2020.
Under the auspices of the Central Bank of Kenya, this year’s GFRID Africa – 2020-2030 will mark the first of a series of biannual Forums in the region aimed at effectively maximizing the impact of remittances and diaspora investment in Africa by 2030.
Promoted by the United Nations as a mechanism to engage all sectors, the GFRID will help develop a regional roadmap to address policy challenges, facilitate partnerships, and support market innovations.
The Forum will also develop an ongoing mechanism to frame issues and strategies, as well as document progress towards achieving the objectives set forth by the United Nations, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Objective 10.c, among others), the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Financing for Development, and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
With its unique and inclusive format, this first Africa 2020-2030 GFRID aim to:
Around 500 participants are expected to attend, both from the region and globally.
Commercial banks; FinTech companies; Micronance institutions: Mobile phone companies: Money transfer operators: Private foundations; Private postal operators; Rural banksInsurance providers; Public.
Academic institutions; Community groups; Cooperatives; Think tanks; Diaspora organizations; Non-governmental organizations.
Ministries of Finance; Central banks and financial regulators; Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Ministries of Migration and Labour; Permanent Missions to the UN; Chambers of Commerce; Postal networks; Development agencies; International organizations; Commercial.
Out of the US$529 billion sent by migrants in 2018, remittances to and within Africa were estimated at over US$85 billion in 2018 – of which over US$25 billion were sent by migrants residing in Europe – and benefiting over 200 million family members of African migrants in a continent where 55 per cent of the population still lives in rural areas.
The sum of international migrants and family members receiving remittances provides the magnitude of remittances among the African population, with 1 out of 5 people sending or receiving international remittances, without considering domestic flows. Furthermore, in several African countries remittances are equal to a very high share of their GDP: in 6 African countries this figure is over 10 per cent, and in 7 countries it is currently higher than 5 per cent. Despite these figures, reliable data are still unavailable for several African countries, where informality is still very much present.
Although transaction costs have fallen over the last years, the African market remains the most expensive globally. While the world average cost of sending remittances is currently at 6.84 per cent, the average cost to and within Africa is 8.52 per cent, with many of the highest remittance corridors. Reduction to at least 3 per cent by 2030 as per SDG target 10.c would lead to an additional US$5 billion per year in the hands of migrant families in Africa.
Remittances represent a significant financial inflow for African national markets and a vital source of income for millions of individuals and families, allowing them to fight poverty and improve access to nutrition, health, education, as well as to encourage savings and access to credit, accompanying them on the road of financial independence.