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Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest transfer costs

30.04.2018

 | Source:  Financial Afrik

The World Bank estimates that officially registered remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached $ 466 billion in 2017, up 8.5% from $ 429 billion in 2016.

If shipments to high-income countries are also counted, worldwide transfers grew by 7% to $ 613 billion in 2017, up from $ 573 billion in 2016.

Transfers have increased in all regions, and the main beneficiaries are India with 69 billion dollars, followed by China (64 billion dollars), the Philippines (33 billion dollars), Mexico (31 billion dollars), Nigeria (22 billion dollars), and Egypt (20 billion dollars).

Remittances are expected to continue to grow in 2018, by 4.1 per cent to $ 485 billion. Globally, they are expected to grow by 4.6% to $ 642 billion in 2018.

Globally, the average cost of a transfer of $ 200 was 7.1% in the first quarter of 2018, more than double the 3% target set in the Sustainable Development Goals. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region to which transfers are most expensive, with an average cost of 9.4%.

The main barriers to lower transfer costs include risk reduction measures taken by banks and exclusive partnerships between national postal systems and money transfer operators. These factors limit the introduction of more efficient technologies – including online and smartphone applications and the use of cryptocurrency and blockchains – in transfer services.

Nigeria and Senegal, Sub-Saharan leaders

Transfers to the sub-Saharan Africa region accelerated to 11.4%, reaching $ 38 billion in 2017, thanks to improved economic growth in advanced economies and higher oil prices , which benefited the economies of the region. The main recipients of the transfers were Nigeria ($ 21.9 billion), Senegal ($ 2.2 billion) and Ghana ($ 2.2 billion). There are several countries in the region where remittances account for a significant share of gross domestic product, including Liberia (27%), The Gambia (21%) and Comoros (21%). In 2018, transfers to the region are expected to increase by 7% to $ 41 billion.

Source: Financial Afrik