Global Forum on
Remittances, Investment
and Development

United Nations – Nairobi, Kenya

In collaboration with

Focus of the GFRID 2023

The GFRID Summit 2023 aimed to provide a clear understanding of migrant and diaspora contributions to development, their ramifications in terms of national and global policies, as well as illustrating the market opportunities for service providers in both remittance and investment ecosystems. Within this framework, the summit focused on practical mechanisms, models and partnerships to boost the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and implementation of the Global Compact for Migration – objectives 19 and 20, and the Joint Valletta Action Plan, among others.
The summit provided an interactive platform in which the reality of the African remittance market and the diaspora investment landscape was discussed, particularly benefitting rural areas, where these funds count the most. By bringing together key worldwide experts from the public and private sectors, as well as the civil society, the three-day summit allowed for a 360-degree review of the challenges and opportunities that governments, companies and millions of families face today in Africa, and around the world.

Making migrants' financial contribution count more

Remittances and diaspora investments: key socio-economic forces in Africa

The summit focused on the current reality faced by one billion people sending or receiving remittances around the world and investing back home. It will highlight the socio-economic contributions of African migrant workers and diaspora members to their countries of origin through an overview of the building blocks of the remittance market at national, local and household levels.

In line with the summit’s active engagement in the global migration and development agenda, the sessions touched upon the digital revolution, as well as its opportunities and challenges for both the remittance and the diaspora investment ecosystems.

In conjunction with the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on 16 June 2023, the last day of the summit hosted the ninth IDFR observance, in recognition of the crucial contribution and the current reality of one billion people, sending or receiving remittances.

This year’s observance theme focuses on the benefits that digital and financial inclusion bring when linked to remittances in helping remittance families achieve their own SDGs. 

The African remittance marketplace

Market strategies, technologies and innovative business models

The remittance markets in Africa are considered the cradle of some of the most innovative business solutions addressing person-to-person payments. While market intelligence remains weak, there is enough evidence to indicate that a large portion of informal remittances could be absorbed through the uptake of mobile money. 

In the post-COVID-19 world, digitalization has marked a permanent shift in the market paradigm that will continue to grow in the years to come, as it increasingly integrates the distribution of adjacent financial services along the digital remittance transfer value chain. The summit deep dived into current and future disruptive technologies and related business models, as well as analyzed their revolutionary potential and ways they can be mainstreamed further into remittance business operations. 

In parallel to market trends review, interactive panels focused on the regulatory framework associated with current and new business models, and the need to maintain a sustained dialogue with accountable regulatory bodies. 

Discussions were structured around a customer-centric approach towards identifying trends, capacity needs and opportunities that can benefit both remittance senders and recipients. 

Focus areas and topics

Diaspora impact investment

Unleashing opportunities to invest back home

The summit presented a range of state-of-the-art investment vehicles and programmes set forth to allow diasporas to invest their resources back home. Diaspora capabilities and preferences to invest in their countries of origin are segmented according to their wealth, migration patterns and range. 

Banks currently provide the main conduit for migrants sending money home. However, African governments, along with impact investing funds and crowdfunding platforms, are recognizing the importance of diaspora resources by proposing financial products ranging from donations/philanthropy to financial engagement. 

The diaspora impact investment sessions will review existing and emerging government and private sector-led investment vehicles and discuss the challenges to reach out and cater to diverse diaspora profiles. This includes diaspora investment priorities such as agriculture and climate adaptation. Discussions also focused on donor-led endeavours to blend diaspora resources with public or private ones, in order to scale up impact towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Focus areas and topics

Enabling environment

  • Level playing field
  • Identification
  • Compliance
  • Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT)
  • De-risking trends
  • Interoperability
  • Taxation

Business models and technologies

  • Informality
  • Identification
  • Mobile money
  • Financial technology
  • Blockchain solutions
  • Transitioning from cash to digital
  • Remittance-linked financial services
  • Demand-side surveys

Customer centricity

  • Demand-driven products
  • Financial and digital literacy
  • Data demand and usage
  • Socio-economic considerations
  • Transparency, privacy and consumer protection


  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Financing gap
  • Rural development
  • Infrastructure
  • Agriculture


  • Bonds
  • Crowdfunding
  • Blended finance
  • Hybrid transnational investment models
  • Savings

Enabling factors

  • Financial capability
  • Marketing and outreach
  • Regulation
  • Partnerships
  • Financial sector stability

Other GFRID sections