France calls for a reduction in the cost of sending remittances to Africa

Nov 26, 2012
France, supported by its partners, is calling for a reduction in the fees charged to migrants on money transfers to
their families in Africa, said the new head of the Cooperation and Cultural Action bureau (Scac) at the Embassy of France in Senegal.

Moncef Follain told Le Soleil that he is campaigning for a lower cost of money transfers, as "banks drain, in an exaggerated way, money from migrants".

He recalled that in 2011, the fees collected reached $350 billion (€270 billion) globally. "[This is] way more than Public Development Aid," he noted.

Mr Follain urged banks to reduce transaction costs to five per cent by 2014, down from ten per cent currently.

"If we can enforce this rate on transaction costs, we would collect nearly $14 billion - a sum that migrants could use to finance economic projects in their countries of origin," he added.

He is calling for the establishment of a partnership approach between banks, NGOs and migrants, noting that there is no monopoly on financial transfers.

According to the World Bank, the average cost of sending money in sub-Saharan Africa is the highest of all developing regions. In its latest briefing on migration and development, the institution recommends the use of mobile banking services to overcome the high cost of money transfers.

It considers this technology as very promising because of the explosion in the use of mobile phones in developing countries.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801494782-ADNFCR