Rabat Forum on Reducing African Diaspora’s Remittance Cost Wraps Up

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The Rabat Forum on reducing the cost of remittances from the diaspora aims to establish “concrete and tangible actions” to address the cost of remittances from the African diaspora, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Mr.  Nasser Bourita said on Thursday 12 January 2023.

Co-chaired by Morocco and Togo, the Forum, which is part of the implementation of the 2021-2031 agenda on “African roots and the African Diaspora”, aimed to conduct a comprehensive reflection on the levers and measures to support the dynamics of remittance flows from the African Diaspora while accelerating efforts to reduce associated costs, to align with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Goal 20 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Promote faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances and foster financial inclusion of migrants).

The forum was “up to expectations” by the quality of participants representing the various member countries of the High Level Committee but also organizations, regional economic communities and African financial structures, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, in his closing remarks.

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“We are all aware of the challenge of the transfer of funds, since it is a fundamental asset for African economies and that we must all try to optimize,” he added.

This round table meeting has certainly allowed for interesting discussions, the objective being that diplomacy leaves the hand to financial experts to deal with this issue, said Mr. Bourita.

“We have always considered that the bulk of African migration is done in Africa, because there is a role to play within the African continent in terms of regulations, coordination and important decisions to be taken,” said the Minister.

It is important that we master even better this dimension of remittances and that we are not too dependent on statistics and structures outside Africa, said Bourita, emphasizing the important role of the African Migration Observatory as a structure in charge of analysis and monitoring of the problem of African migration.

The African diaspora now forms the 6th region of the continent with a total population of over 150 million individuals in 2021, with remittances to the continent that have continued to increase to reach 95.6 billion dollars in 2021, including 10 billion in Morocco, continued the Minister, noting that this diaspora is not only a provider of funds, but also economic stability in the continent, whose contribution exceeds the official development assistance and FDI.

Bourita also deplored the costs of these transfers, “the most expensive in the world,” stating that the average costs amount to nearly 8% for sub-Saharan Africa, against 6% in the world, nearly triple the percentage targeted by the tenth goal of sustainable development 2030.

The recommendations issued by the Forum constitute a roadmap to solve the problem of remittances, concluded the Minister, calling to transform the will into concrete action and conclusive steps towards partners, in order to improve the cost of remittances, which would benefit the development of the continent.