News & Analysis: Remittances

African countries ‘ready to open our doors again to the world’

“All over Africa, encouraged by low or declining death and infection rates, countries are tentatively opening up in the hope of reviving pandemic-scarred economies. With significant variation from country to country, schools are reopening, curfews and travel restrictions are lifting, and markets are getting back to full capacity.”

via Financial Times

Eritrea’s deteriorating state

“Although the pandemic’s consequences had been fatal across the world, in extremely impoverished countries like Eritrea where the essential food items are rationed in stores run by the ruling party, the magnitude of the lockdown is immense. Eritrea’s elites who hold absolute power have already frozen the state in time for more than two decades.”

via Africa is a Country

How is COVID-19 Affecting Food Security in West Africa? An Interview with Dr. Mabouba Diagne

Dr. Mabouba Diagne of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development talks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about the lessons of COVID-19 for improving food security in the West Africa region.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Remittance fintechs meet the COVID-19 moment

“Previously, fintech companies faced barriers to trial and acceptance, with customers often preferring cash-based transactions. But the lack of viable money transfer alternatives amid COVID-19 lockdowns and encouragement from governments to use digital payment options are catalyzing the digitization of payments and remittances.”

via Impact Alpha

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