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African Finance Experts say Remittance Finance can Help Foster Social Inclusion

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African Finance Experts say Remittance Finance can Help Foster Social Inclusion PR Newswire LONDON, June 22, 2012 LONDON, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading figures from Africa's financial services industry, including those from the African Development Bank (AfDB) believe remittances can play a crucial role in fostering social development and increasing financial stability in developing countries. AfDB hosted a conference in Arusha, Tanzania on 29 May to discuss how efficient financial markets and access to finance can aid economic development. Speakers at the conference - a side event held during the 2012 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group - included Agnes Soucat, Director, African Development Bank and Abdirashid Duale, CEO of Dahabshiil. Speaking at the event, Mr Duale praised the significant progress being made to improve access to finance and aid economic growth in developing countries. He stressed the comparative stability of large areas of the Somali territories - citing growth in businesses and industries as well as improved education and employment prospects. Discussing the role of microfinance in combating poverty, he acknowledged its early promise, asserting the growth of a formal financial infrastructure will enable sustainable financial products to be developed to better meet the needs of poor communities. Abdirashid Duale said: "Financial inclusion is increasingly on the international agenda for policymakers.
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African Finance Experts say Remittance
Finance can Help Foster Social Inclusion
PR Newswire
LONDON, June 22, 2012
LONDON
,
June 22, 2012
/PRNewswire/ --
Leading figures from
Africa's
financial services industry, including those from
the African Development Bank (AfDB) believe remittances can play a crucial
role in fostering social development and increasing financial stability in
developing countries.
AfDB hosted a conference in Arusha,
Tanzania
on 29 May to discuss how
efficient financial markets and access to finance can aid economic
development. Speakers at the conference - a side event held during the 2012
Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank
Group - included Agnes Soucat, Director, African Development Bank and
Abdirashid Duale, CEO of Dahabshiil.
Speaking at the event, Mr Duale praised the significant progress being made to
improve access to finance and aid economic growth in developing countries. He
stressed the comparative stability of large areas of the Somali territories -
citing growth in businesses and industries as well as improved education and
employment prospects. Discussing the role of microfinance in combating
poverty, he acknowledged its early promise, asserting the growth of a formal
financial infrastructure will enable sustainable financial products to be
developed to better meet the needs of poor communities.
Abdirashid Duale said: "Financial inclusion is increasingly on the international
agenda for policymakers.
"Significant steps are being taken and the new regulatory frameworks currently
evolving will ensure even greater efficiency in resource mobilisation for both
inward and domestic investment. Microfinance initiatives and institutions are
already enabling some of
Africa's
poorest to plan for the future and to be more
resilient to economic, political and climatic shocks."
Agnes Soucat said: "Access to finance is a key component of our new Human
Capital Development Strategy. Increasing opportunities for the poor and
marginalized - and particularly for the African youth - is crucial in order ensure
social inclusion as well as job creating growth. Companies such as Dahabshiil
provide a vital service by facilitating the transfer of remittances to often
excluded communities."
The economic crisis did not have as heavy an impact on African countries as it
did on their global counterparts. Many of
Africa's
48 economies are recovering
at a faster rate than the rest of the world, with 4.5 per cent growth expected
this year, and 4.8 per cent growth projected for 2013 according to a report
drawn up by AfDB, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD), the United Nations' Economic Commission for
Africa
(ECA) and the UN development agency (UNDP). In addition,
Africa
is
increasingly attracting investment opportunities as a result of improved
management of public finances.
Africa's
recent surge can be traced to a range of factors including remittances
sent back to
Africa
from migrant workers. Funds remitted to
Africa
by its global
diaspora play an important role in national economies, providing a
supplementary source of income which boosts private sector growth.
Dahabshiil sends approximately
$1bn
back to
Africa
every year, and is the
largest of the international payments firms established in
Africa
.
Globally, money sent home by migrants constitutes the second largest financial
inflow to developing countries - a vital source of income that outweighs donor
aid. Remittance income is particularly important for communities in more
remote regions of
Africa
, and helps to bolster the funding of humanitarian
organisations operating in those locations.
Mr Duale added: "
Africa's
diaspora sends around
$40bn
back home annually,
and remittances are an essential lifeline for many communities across the
continent. There is no doubt that this inflow has been an important factor in
Africa's
economic development."
Handling international money transfers of under
$200
on average, Dahabshiil is
in effect a provider of micro-remittances. Remittances are acknowledged to be
an indispensable source of income for developing countries around the world,
fuelling long term growth through sustained investment. Initiatives to improve
access to finance for poor communities are increasingly at the forefront of
international policy, and Dahabshiil is now looking to partner with leading
international NGOs - to expand its offer to include other microfinance products.