Beyond Remittances, Diaspora and Development

If one in every 10 members of the diaspora could be persuaded to invest $1,000 in his or her country of origin, Africa could raise $3 billion a year for development financing,” Dilip Ratha and Sonia Plaza write in the World Bank’s 2011 report, Diaspora for Development in Africa.

Afrocentric Confessions

WASHINGTON DC (IRIN) – The African diaspora and migrants have for years been instrumental in helping family and friends at home get by, as huge annual remittance flows illustrate, but their contributions beyond remittances could have a significant impact on development, if tapped into.

According to the World Bank, African diaspora savings, at US$53 billion every year, exceed annual remittances to the continent and are mostly invested abroad.

“If one in every 10 members of the diaspora could be persuaded to invest $1,000 in his or her country of origin, Africa could raise $3 billion a year for development financing,” Dilip Ratha and Sonia Plaza write in the World Bank’s 2011 report, Diaspora for Development in Africa.

Many Africans living abroad feel a strong sense of connection and want to contribute to development at home. Dr Girma Tefera, chair of the US-based Ethiopian-American Doctors Group (EADG), says among professionals in the…

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