News & Analysis: Remittances

Kenya central bank has ‘plenty of firepower’, governor says

“Kenya’s central bank governor said on Thursday that policymakers still had plenty of firepower left to limit the damage to the country’s economy from the coronavirus crisis.”

via Reuters

Pass-through shocks and income: The impact of COVID-19 on remittances in Ethiopia

“Following COVID-19 induced global restrictions on the movement of people and activities, the Ethiopian economy, particularly the external sector, has faced significant challenges. COVID-19 related global disruptions have considerably affected tourism, exports, imports, and remittances to the country.”

via International Growth Centre

Youth Perspectives: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on remittance inflows to Africa

“Until the emergence of COVID-19, total remittance inflows into the continent has been on the rise. For instance, in 2017, remittances reached $38 billion in Africa. In 2019, total remittances to the continent amounted to $48 billion. However, with COVID-19 severely impacting both the source countries of remittances.”

via Mo Ibrahim Foundation

COVID-19 impact hurts workers’ ability to send relatives cash

“About eight in 10 workers are unable to send cash to their relatives in rural Kenya in the wake of the COVID-19 economic hardships, says a new survey, which reveals that majority of households have not felt the impact of the reduction in VAT from 16 to 14 percent. According to the poll released Sunday, 79 percent of Kenyan workers interviewed were not in a position to support their dependants financially.”

via The East African

Beyond Remittances: COVID-19 And The ‘Future’ Of African Diaspora-Homeland Relations

“Beyond the volume of remittances, COVID-19 raises questions and opens the possibility of transforming the mechanics of remittances; the change from cash-based transactions to technology-enabled formats such as mobile money.”

via African Leadership Centre

75% of small, medium businesses at risk of collapsing by June-CBK (Kenya)

“At least 75 per cent of SMEs are facing closure by end of June due to lack of funds, CBK governor Patrick Njoroge has said. During a post-MPC briefing on Thursday, he said there is an urgent need to cushion them as they contribute hugely to the country’s employment and GDP. Meanwhile, diaspora remittances are expected to drop 12 per cent this year on coronavirus effects.”

via The Star

Remittances during COVID-19: Reduce costs to save livelihoods

“As COVID-19 continues to affect the global economy, remittances become more important than ever before to prevent large-scale poverty and starvation. However, a drop in migrants’ wages and employment, fall in tourism, and restrictions on the movement of people, goods and services will likely cause remittances to decline this year.”

via Development Matters (OECD)

COVID-19 Dries Up Ethiopia’s Cash Cow: Remittances

“The inflow of foreign exchange has been dwindling, and it is safe to say there is almost nothing coming in, according to Melese Fikre, a foreign exchange officer at the branch.”

via Addis Fortune

Macro Notes: SSA Increasingly Reliant on Portfolio Flows

“Non-resident capital flows to SSA have grown dramatically over the last decade and increasingly consist of short-term instruments. As the region is now more integrated into global financial markets than ever before, and less reliant on concessionary funding, it is also more exposed to swings in global risk sentiment, commodity prices, currencies, and interest rates.”

via IIF

The humanitarian response to COVID-19 in Somalia will make things worse

“As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, Somalia is already reporting immediate social, economic and political effects. A rapid reduction in remittances transferred into the country from abroad, falling commodity prices and restricted export markets all pose significant risks.”

via Democracy in Africa