AFRICAN DIASPORA . Africarecruit, Commonwealth Business Council, 18 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5LU United Kingdom Tel: +44(0)20 7024 270 Fax: +44(0)20 7024 8201 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.africarecruit.com. Survey on Remittances and Skills December 2003.
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Africarecruit, Commonwealth Business Council, 18 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5LU United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)20 7024 270 Fax: +44(0)20 7024 8201
E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.africarecruit.com
Survey on Remittances and Skills
“Building robust and enduring productive capacity in Africa
The importance of the African Diaspora is becoming increasingly recognised. As an overview Africarecruit conducted a snap shot survey in July 2003. 300 questionnaires were disseminated of which 173 were returned.
African countries are becoming more heavily reliant on the stable foreign direct investment and the increasing remittances from its indigenous population abroad as a source of finance. In 2002 remittances to Africa accounted for 15% ($12bn) of the total remittances to the developing countries ($80bn). Majority of the remittances were sent from Europe, North America and Asia reflecting the migration pattern of African’s e.g. North African’s migrating to Asia countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Sub Sahara African’s migrating to Europe and North America
Top African receiving countries are Egypt ($3.4bn), Morocco ($2.2bn), Nigeria (1.7bn), Tunisia (0.8bn). In 2002 remittances to Nigeria ($2bn) accounted for 5% of the GDP playing a large part of the economy positively helping the balance of payments.
Majority of the respondent sent remittances for a combination of reasons such as responsibilities; personal consumption and investment. Very few sent money for investment alone. Other reasons included burials, charity work and mortgage repayments
It is estimated that at least 70,000 or more highly qualified Africans leave their country of origin annually for western countries. In 2002, some 2,297 medical doctors and nurses left Zimbabwe in the first nine months, in that same year South Africa lost more than 300 specialist nurses to developed countries every month. In Ghana the ratio of doctor to people is 1:22,970 as against 1:420 in the United States and 1:810 in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that up to 68% of medical staff trained in Ghana between 1993 and 2000 have left the country
A survey conducted in July 2003 reported that 479,000 Zimbabweans work outside the country with 34% in the United Kingdom alone. South Africa has lost $7.8 billion in skill manpower flight since 1997.Overall the pace of Africa’s brain drain has accelerated with 23,000 academics, over 40,000 Africans with Ph.D’s and 50,000 middle and senior management personnel leaving the continent each year
Over half of the respondents did majority of their schooling in Africa
Wide range of professions from the arts to science e.g. rural development, Healthcare professionals, teachers, economist, criminologist, banker, editor, telecommunication, information technology consultants and social scientist in addition to numerous others
Answers ranged from all my life to 40 years with majority falling at 0-15 years
The actual figure on remittance is under-quoted as a significant proportion goes through informal channels and is not reported. There needs to be further research into understanding the remittance market in Africa. The aim would be to inform policy in both the sending and receiving nations on how best to ensure that “consumption remittances” is translated into “investment remittances
There is an argument that African migrants contribute to the income of their countries of origin through remittances. However there does need to be further work to ensure that the benefits to the host country match the benefits to the sending countries. There needs to be action on the role of the Diaspora in contributing towards the economic, social, human and sustainable development in Africa as well as facilitating an environment for good governance using networks knowledge, investment and skill transfer. Otherwise the ability of African countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals would be very difficult