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Africa’s R — Remittances

Are remittances from overseas helping Africa’s economy?

February 23, 2005

Are remittances from overseas helping Africa's economy?

The actual amounts of remittances sent home by workers from Africa are probably much larger. The reason for this is that official statistics are not good at capturing the individual transactions — and they almost certainly underestimate them.

According to official statistics, remittances by Africans have more than doubled in the past 20 years.

They are extremely important to some countries. For example, Lesotho receives remittance payments totaling 37% of the country's entire gross domestic product (GDP). And Cape Verde's remittances amount to 18% of the country’s GDP.