Remittance data and statistics

Remittances play an important role as a source of capital and income for many African countries and lack of complete and accurate data on remittance flows hinders the development of remittance policy and analysis. Remittances data compilation and measurement is key to understanding the actual benefits that African economies receive from their migrants/diaspora and accurate data can facilitate high prioritization of remittances issues in the agenda of policy makers, Remittances Service Providers (RSPs), and other stakeholders. Up to 25% of AU Member States do not include remittances in their annual Balance of Payment (BoP) reports and even the reported figures are understated.

Although many countries including AU Member States have made extensive improvements on the concepts and definitions, estimating methodologies, compiling accurate data and reporting, there is still a lot of glaring weaknesses in remittances data compilation and measurement landscape. The benefits of improving remittances data statistical measurement are i) creation of market attraction to MTOs; ii) greater attention by policy makers for enabling regulations; iii) improvement of market competitions; iv) reduction of transfer costs; v) increase of volume of remittance flows through formal channels; and vi) better remittances leverage for development and financial inclusion.

AIR has a mandate of working with AU Member States in improving the quality of remittance data through the revision of data collection and compilation methods and creation of country specific data compilation guide.