Migration and Remittance Trends in Africa Reveal Immense Economic Opportunities

The African continent has one of the highest mobility rates globally. According to UNCTAD, the year 2017 saw a total of 41.5 million people migrating from, to and within Africa. From this number, 19 million migrated to other countries on the continent while 17 million left Africa.

With the burgeoning trends of the African diaspora, the citizens of the continent provides a massive economic opportunity both inside and outside Africa. According to the World Bank, the 10% increase in remittance inflows from 2016 to 2017, and is only expected to grow more in the coming few years. While the outside world may see the rising number of Africans moving abroad, this is actually fueled by the relative improvement of economic activities in OECD countries, not by a relative declining of the conditions within Africa. The economic value that Africans creating abroad are the main sources of remittances for Sub-Saharan African countries.

The increasing number of remittances brings value back into their mother countries, often for necessary expenses such as education.  For companies looking to service the African immigrant and diaspora class, such as MTO’s (money remittance companies) or job placement agencies, the opportunities abound.

For a full analysis from the most recent UNCTAD Remittances Data, published at the end of 2018, download our whitepaper here.

Nigeria which led the continent in remittances in 2017, fell to second in 2018. The figure, however, increased by 10% from $19.64 billion in 2016 to $22.3 billion in 2017. There are two main reasons behind this growth.

First, the year 2017 saw incremental global economic growth, especially in high-income OECD countries. The World Bank Migration and Development Brief attributes the rebound experienced in the global remittance industry in 2017 to economic growth in Europe, the Russian Federation and the United States.

Second, there was a rise in oil prices starting July 2017, which in turn boosted economic activities in oil-producing countries worldwide.

Notably, both oil-producing and OECD countries host high numbers of migrant workers from Nigeria, who send money back home. Therefore, economic boosts in such countries have been shown to have a direct effect on remittances flowing into Nigeria. It is noteworthy that the country’s remittances mostly come from the gulf, the United Kingdom and the United States. To learn more about the the FX and the impact of remittances in Nigeria, read our article here.

To learn more about how your company can take advantage of this growth, download our whitepaper now!

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