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Thematics

African Institute for Remittances (AIR) Project (AIR)

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OVERVIEW

The establishment of an African Institute for Remittances Project (“AIR Project”) is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC). The preparatory phase project is to be implemented by the World Bank with the collaboration of the African Union Commission (AUC), the European Commission (EC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The implementation of the project is underway and on course. Among other activities, the Commission and partners (WB, AfDB, EC and IOM) have conducted studies on financial institutions and remittances flows to and within Africa; offered technical assistance to postal operators for the provision of remittance operations and financial inclusion in countries as Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Mali and Senegal; conducted assessment missions in Liberia, Malawi, Tanzania and Sierra Leone against the General Principles for Remittances Services to support Central Banks in improving their national market for remittances; and established a pilot database - an African Remittance Price Database (Send Money Africa) - to provide remittance information (in improving transparency) in the market. 

OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES

The core objectives of the Project are to:

  • Facilitate the process leading to the creation of the Institute
  • Develop the capacity of the Member States of the African Union (AU), remittance senders and recipients, and other stakeholders to implement concrete strategies and operational instruments to use remittances as development tools for poverty reduction.

The AIR project will work on implementing the following activities:

  • Providing technical assistance to government institutions (central banks, Ministries, financial and nonfinancial institutions) on establishing and operating the necessary regulatory frameworks
  • Carrying out the required training and capacity building programmes of relevant institutions and organizations (e.g. national statistical services departments); Studying remittances flows within Africa (including North Africa)
  • Conducting policy research and dialogue and sharing information on how remittances can better contribute to the development of African countries; Developing content and technology platforms for country-based payment and settlement systems for remittances
  • Developing partnerships between African central banks and remittance service providers and non-bank correspondent agencies to improve financial access
  • Disseminating data and research findings on good practices through annual reports, conferences and workshops for stakeholders as well as meetings with the region’s policy makers

For more information about the project, please visit www.worldbank.org/afr/diaspora