Togo’s diaspora sent $500 million of remittances back home in 2018

Economic governance
Friday, 12 April 2019 18:21
Togo’s diaspora sent $500 million of remittances back home in 2018

(Togo First) - Togolese nationals living outside the country sent home more than $500 million in 2018. This is revealed in the latest update of the World Bank on remittances.

In Africa, Togo is the tenth in terms of remittances and this ranking is far dominated by Nigeria. According to the Bretton Woods institution, the remittances sent by Togolese represent 8.5% of the country’s GDP, the strongest ratio in the sub-Saharan Africa region, ahead of nations like Nigeria and Ghana.

Remittances outstrip ODAs and FDIs  

Monies sent by the Togolese diaspora exceed official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investments (FDIs) and are today the country’s main external source of financing, according to official data (2017). However, they are underestimated due to informal transfers.

A survey, backed by the PNUD, conducted in 2017 and whose results were released mid-2018 by Lomé indicates: 53% of remittances are sent to support families home. Most of the funds are dedicated to food, health and education. This clearly attests of their contribution to human development in Togo. Yet, studies by the World Bank say they could better contribute to inclusive growth, creating jobs, by partly being used for community or high-benefit projects.

A roadmap to better organize the diaspora

In line with its desire to get the diaspora involved in the deployment of its national development plan (PND), Lomé has just issued a roadmap for Togolese living outside the territory. This roadmap, according to Robert Dussey, minister of foreign affairs, “aims at ensuring a better organization of the diaspora so that it is more engaged in the efforts to develop the country.”  

Its implementation should help “mobilize investments, skills and know-how of the diaspora, develop a program under which both migrants and authorities will jointly carry out development projects in their home country, as well as a solidarity volunteering project for growth.”  Besides the poor organization of the diaspora, another major issue related to remittances is the prohibitive cost of some transfer media, in Africa especially.

Nigeria, a giant like no other

In 2018, remittances sent to the sub-Saharan Africa region stood at $46 billion, up 9.6% compared to 2017 where they were valued at $42 billion.

Nigeria alone captured more than half of the amount recorded last year, $24.3 billion. Far behind the giant are Ghana and Kenya with $3.8 billion and $2.7 billion respectively. Within the WAEMU, Senegal, Mali and Togo are also countries that captured substantial remittances in 2018.

Fiacre E. Kakpo

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