Remittances to sub-Saharan Africa to reach $33 billion in 2015
The remittance market is fast adopting mobile money as an effective means of money transfer.Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to reach $33 billion (€30 billion) in 2015, as the remittance market is fast adopting mobile money as an effective means of money transfer, according to WorldRemit, a global money transfer company. It said half of the 261 mobile money service providers across the globe are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Average mobile banking penetration across the continent hovers around 33 per cent according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), with countries such as South Africa boasting an 88 per cent mobile banking penetration.
These figures are expected to increase as the necessary key drivers, including internet penetration and financial inclusion, continue to appreciate, said WorldRemit.
However, it added that a huge gap remains that could potentially be
exploited by mobile money. "There are currently two and a half billion unbanked people in the world. One billion of these people already have access to a mobile phone and so a potential means of accessing financial services," said Alix Murphy, Senior Mobile Analyst at WorldRemit.
According to a report from the World Bank, the biggest beneficiaries of remittances in Africa are Nigeria and Egypt, followed by Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Mali.
The institution says that in the Middle East and North Africa region, remittances are expected to increase by four per cent in 2015 to $53 billion.
The World Bank notes that the significant increase in remittances comes in a context of increasing forced migration due to conflicts that have affected 51 million people, a level not seen since World War II.