The African Institute for Remittances (AIR) supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) organized the Public Private Dialogue (PPD) ‘Facilitating remittance transfers to Africa: The Germany-Ghana corridor’ from October 26-27, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.
The following were objectives of the mission:
- Provide a platform for discussion among key stakeholders, including government officials from Germany, AIR, diaspora communities, Remittance Service Providers and other partners on identifying and tackling the main challenges in the market in particular factors that impede the reduction of transfer costs.
- Identify potential areas of collaboration and follow up mechanism
- Formulate the way forward and recommend an action plan.
- Promote the remittances price databases of Send Money Africa (SMA) www.sendmoneyafrica-auair.org and www.geldtransfair.de
representatives of the public sector in both countries, including the German and Ghanaian central bank, the BMZ and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), MTOs, members of the research community, and civil society, including Ghanaian diaspora organizations in Germany.
The forum was structured around keynote speeches, panel discussions and thematic working groups in which the following key questions were discussed:
I. What are current issues, challenges and opportunities in the German-African remittances market, in particular the Germany-Ghana corridor?
II. What are ways to improve the remittances environment in order to facilitate formal transfers from Germany to Ghana?
Session I: Perspectives on remittances to Africa: key note speeches
I. Setting the stage: remittances and development in Africa and the role of the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), Amadou Cissé (AIR)
II. A Ghanaian diaspora perspective: sending money from Germany to Ghana, Stephen Adaawen (Centre for Global Cooperation Research)
III. A public sector perspective: the money transfer market in Germany, Johannes Gerling (German Central Bank)
Session II: Discussing challenges and opportunities
Panel discussion: What do we know so far? Current issues, challenges and opportunities in the German-African remittances market (including Q&A)
Panelists: Sylvaina Gerlich (IMIC e.V./Ghana Bridge e.V.), Amadou Cissé (AIR), Catherine Wines (WorldRemit), Thomas Schäkermann (Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF))
Session III: Working Groups: exchanging views and working on solutions
i. Current business models and the role of innovative technologies: what works, what doesn’t? Which services are used, which aren’t?
ii. Regulatory standards and reforms. What changes are needed?
iii. Facilitating formal transfers: how to strengthen civil society’s (esp. diaspora organizations) and development cooperation’s roles?
Session IV: Wrap-up and way forward for the next day
Panel discussion: What have we learnt, Wrap-up and way forward.
Session V: Improving the remittances environment
On the second day of the PPD, there was a World Café. Participants split up in four working groups to exchange ideas on needs and best practices with regard to a) regulation, b) technology, c) transfer costs as well as 4) remittances recipients and senders and make some concrete recommendations for measures in these four areas.
World Café: facilitating formal transfers: discussing needs and best practices: Finding ways to improve the remittances environment.
Session VI: Concluding Session
Panel discussion: The way forward, future activities and cooperation
Panelists: Adams Bodomo (Global African Diaspora Studies Platform, University of Vienna), Catherine Wines (WorldRemit), Christopher Fischer (Western Union), Michael Tecklenburg (BMZ), Enam Kodade (Bank of Ghana), Amadou Cissé (AIR).