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The diaspora of developing countries can be a potent force for development, through remittances, but more importantly, through promotion of trade, investment, knowledge and technology transfers. The book aims to consolidate research and evidence on these issues with a view to formulating policies in both sending and receiving countries.
Developing countries need additional, cross-border capital channeled into their private sectors to generate employment and growth, reduce poverty, and meet the other Millennium Development Goals. Innovative financing mechanisms are necessary to make this happen. 'Innovative Financing for Development' is the first book on this subject that uses a market-based approach. It compiles pioneering methods of raising development finance including securitization of future flow receivables, diaspora bonds, and GDP-indexed bonds. It also highlights the role of shadow sovereign ratings in facilitating access to international capital markets. It argues that poor countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, can potentially raise tens of billions of dollars annually through these instruments. The chapters in the book focus on the structures of the various innovative financing mechanisms, their track records and potential for tapping international capital markets, the constraints limiting their use, and policy measures that governments and international institutions can implement to alleviate these constraints.
A joint effort led by the African Development Bank and the World Bank, 'Leveraging Migration for Africa' is the first comprehensive publication on harnessing migration, remittances, and other diaspora resources for the development of Africa. It comes at a time when countries in Africa and elsewhere are grappling with difficult choices on how to manage migration. Policy makers can help leverage the contributions of migrants to the development of Africa, reduce remittance costs, improve the efficiency of remittance markets in both origin and destination countries, and address the needs of the origin countries without restricting the emigration of high-skilled professionals. Innovative financing mechanisms such as issuance of diaspora bonds and securitization of future remittance flows can help finance big-ticket projects, such as railways, roads, power plants, and institutions of higher learning that will, step by step, help to transform Africa. This volume contributes to a greater understanding of migration and its potential role in Africa's development.
Drawing on the findings from responses to a survey conducted in 2008-09 from 114 central banks worldwide (of which 33 are in Africa), this paper aims to better understand how central banks and other national institutions regulate and collect data and other information on cross-border remittance flows. Findings indicate that, although the vast majority of countries, in both sending and receiving countries, collect data on remittances, and 43 percent of receiving countries estimate informal remittances, there is a need for more frequent and better coordinated data collection, both across national institutions and among different divisions within the same national institution, as well as between countries. Survey results also indicate that many new market entrants' transfer activities are unregulated. Countries must take into account new channels and technologies, such as mobile phone service providers, in monitoring remittance flows. It will be important for national regulatory authorities to work closely with mobile telecoms network operators to strike the right regulatory balance, to better understand these new channels' associated risks and fully tap their potential for fostering inexpensive, efficient remittance transfer services. The high cost of transfers was cited in the survey as the top factor inhibiting migrants from using formal channels. Many countries, particularly in Africa, have made progress in rendering exclusivity contracts illegal, which helps increase competitiveness and reduce transfer costs. But further policy reforms and initiatives are needed to address the high costs of remittances. The joint African Development Bank-World Bank Africa Migration Project and G-8 Global Remittances Working Group provided partial funding support for this study.
'The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2008' attempts to present the numbers and facts behind the stories of international migration and remittances, drawing on authoritative, publicly available data. It provides a snapshot of statistics on immigration, emigration, skilled emigration, and remittance flows for 194 countries, and 13 regional and income groups. Some interesting facts from the Factbook: - Nearly 200 million people, or 3 percent of the world population, live outside their countries of birth. Current migration flows, relative to population, are weaker than those of the last decades of the nineteenth century. - The volume of South-South migration is almost as large as that of South-North migration. - International migration is dominated by voluntary migration, which is driven by economic factors. In 2005, refugees numbered only 13.5 million, or just over 7 percent of international migrants. The share of refugees in the population of low-income countries was more than five times larger than the share in high-income OECD countries. - Worldwide remittance flows are estimated to have exceeded $318 billion in 2007, of which developing countries received $240 billion. The true size, including unrecorded flows through formal and informal channels, is believed to be significantly larger.
The Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 updates the 2008 edition of the Factbook with additional data for 71 countries collected from various sources, including national censuses, labor force surveys, population registers, and other national sources. The Factbook attempts to present numbers and facts behind the stories of international migration and remittances, drawing on authoritative, publicly available data. It provides a snapshot of statistics on immigration, emigration, skilled emigration, and remittance flows for 210 countries and 15 regional and income groups.
Remittances sent by African migrants have become an important source of external finance for countries in the Sub-Saharan African region. In many African countries, these flows are larger than foreign direct investment and portfolio debt and equity flows. In some cases, they are similar in size to official aid from multilateral and bilateral donors. Remittance markets in Africa, however, remain less developed than other regions. The share of informal or unrecorded remittances is among the highest for Sub-Saharan African countries. Remittance costs tend to be significantly higher in Africa both for sending remittances from outside the region and for within-Africa (South-South) remittance corridors. At the same time, the remittance landscape in Africa is rapidly changing with the introduction of new remittance technologies, in particular mobile money transfers and branchless banking. This book presents findings of surveys of remittance service providers conducted in eight Sub-Saharan African countries and in three key destination countries. It looks at issues relating to costs, competition, innovation and regulation, and discusses policy options for leveraging remittances for development in Africa.
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