James Emejo in Abuja
The President, African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said diaspora remittances remained a new form of concessional financing that is the key to livelihood security for millions of Africans.
He said Africans in Diaspora are particularly critical for Africa’s economic development as they constitute the continent’s largest financiers through remittances.
He spoke at a function on “Development Without Borders: Leveraging the African Diaspora for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa” which was organised by the Bank in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the International Organization for Migration, and the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.
Adesina said the value of remittances from the Africans in the diaspora doubled from $37 billion in 2010 to $87 billion in 2019, reaching $95.6 billion by 2021.
Yet, he said official development assistance to Africa in 2021 was $35 billion, or 36 per cent of the remittances from the diaspora as Egypt and Nigeria are among the top-10 remittance recipients globally, with $31.5 billion and $19.2 billion, respectively in 2021.
The AfBD boss added that the African diaspora had become the largest financier of the continent, noting that “It is not debt, it is 100 per cent gifts or grants, a new form of concessional financing that is the key for livelihood security for millions of Africans”.
He noted that while remittances have helped to meet financial, food, education, and health needs, as well as serve as countercyclical sources of finance and social protection, much can be done to better tap into these remittances for Africa’s development.