Posted by: africanpressorganization | 22 June 2011

Consultative and Experience Sharing Forum on Remittances Leverage for Development

 


 

 

 

Consultative and Experience Sharing Forum on Remittances Leverage for Development

 

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 22, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Invitation to representatives of the media

 

WHEN: 7- 8 July, 2011

 

WHERE: African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

WHO: Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with the World Bank, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) , and other partners.

 

WHY: For centuries people have migrated seeking better opportunities for themselves and their families. Ever-improving transportation and communications technologies have further accelerated this phenomenon, making it easier and less costly for people to migrate, communicate and send money home. Remittance transfers have existed for centuries, but have only garnered international attention for the last two decades because of the relatively small amounts of money sent with each transfer, and the often-marginal social status of both the sender and the receiver.

The purpose of this Consultative and Experience Sharing Forum on Remittances Leverage for Development therefore is to:

 

•    Convene senior level representatives to discuss policy issues on remittances, provide recommendations, leading to a concrete action plan for the establishment of the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), and;

•    Share experiences and develop knowledge on policies and regulatory framework of the remittance sector

 

 

Importance of Remittances: It helps to foster a sense of financial democracy – it represents a flow of financial income to those in the developing world who might not otherwise receive assistance, because of location or social status. Unlike other official forms of aid, remittances are distributed directly to individuals who retain full discretion to decide how it will be used. The availability of remitted funds indirectly helps entire communities within developing nations where the money is spent – the extra income from remittance transfers may cover the basic needs and free up money which can be spent on education and health care, thereby resulting in a more productive and healthy citizenry.

 

 

Objectives: – The main objective of the Consultative and Experience Sharing Forum on Remittances Leverage for Development is to convene high level representatives to discuss policy issues on remittances and provide recommendations leading to a concrete action plan for the establishment of the AIR, to share experience and develop knowledge on policies and regulatory frameworks for the remittance sector.

 

The specific objectives are to promote:

•    a better understanding of monetary and banking matters in Africa, as well as the pertinent aspects of fiscal and exchange rate policies;

•    assist in improving the qualifications of central bank and other financial agencies personnel in Africa through the organisation of seminars and special training courses and the publication of surveys and research studies;

•    conduct research and systematise the results of past experience in the above fields; and

•    inform on developments in regional and international monetary and financial policy issues.

 

Expected outcomes:

The expected outcomes of the event will be specific recommendations that would form the basis of an action plan for the establishment of the Institute – overall organisational structure, the location, functions and roles and funding of the institute and capacity building of the competent authorities of the AU Member States.

 

The following outcomes will also be gathered during the meeting:

•    The workshop will cast the current landscape of remittances in the African continent based on facts and findings from recent research and data.

•    Panelists will present findings of their recent research and findings to look at remittance issues from migration and volume data, market structure, household surveys, and remittance prices.

•    Countries will share their experiences in the process and lessons from their experiences.

•    AU Member States in remittance receiving countries will sharpen the development impact of remittances through the application of appropriate policies, and (long-term) an improvement in the dissemination of data on remittance fees in major corridors and reducing remittance transaction costs in a selected number of countries.

Participants: Participants will come from:

–    The African Union Commission, (AUC)

–    United Nations Agencies (UN)

–    World Bank (WB)

–    European Commission (EC)

–    International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

–     African Development Bank (AfDB).;

–    African Diaspora Organisations;

–    UK Department for International Development;

–    IFAD;

–    Regional Economic Communities (RECs);

–    Pan African Employers Confederation;

–    Organisation of African Trade Union Unity;

–    International Trade Union Confederation Africa;

–    Pan African Productivity Association, and the Private Sector, amongst others

 

Background:

 

The preparatory phase project towards the establishment of the African Institute for Remittances (AIR) was launched on 8 June 2010. The Project is funded by a grant from the European Commission (EC) for Euro €1.676.271 million (US $2.4 million equivalent) to the World Bank which is responsible for implementation. The Bank Executed Trust Fund (BETF) Grant Agreement was signed in December 2009. The AIR Steering Committee is led by the AUC and comprised of the EC, IOM and the AfDB. The preparatory phase of the project, which is both consultative and technical, focuses on consultations, research, capacity building and networking. The importance of the consultations to be carried out in order to prepare for the African Union decision of establishing an African Institute for Remittances is strongly emphasised in the project document. These consultations are to be conducted together with technical and capacity building inputs to be provided by the World Bank.

 

The core objectives of the Project are to:

    Facilitate the process leading to the creation of the AIR within the African Union Commission (AUC);

    Facilitate a structured and deepened reflection on all aspects of the prospective establishment of the AIR; and

    Build the capacity of the Member States of the African Union, remittance senders and recipients and other stakeholders to leverage remittances.

 

The Project’s Activities include:

    Providing technical assistance to government institutions (Central Banks, Ministries, Financial and Non-Financial Institutions) on putting in place the required regulatory frameworks;

    Conducting training and capacity building programmes for relevant institutions and organisations (e.g. national statistical service departments);

    Studying remittance flows within Africa, including North Africa;

    Conducting policy research, dialogue and information sharing on how remittances can contribute to the development of African countries;

    Developing content and technology platforms for country-based payment and settlement systems for remittances;

    Developing partnerships between African central banks and remittance service providers and non-bank correspondent agencies to improve financial access;

    Disseminating data and research findings; and

    Preparing annual reports, conferences and meetings of policy makers.

 

The Project will have direct results on:

    facilitation of the AIR creation;

    a selected number of AU Member States in remittance receiving countries sharpening the development impact of remittances through the application of appropriate policies;

    improving the dissemination of data on remittance fees in major corridors and reducing remittance transaction costs in a selected number of countries;

 

The Project will make indirect contributions to:

(a)    improved financial access and banking products/services for remittance senders and recipients;

(b)    regulatory regimes that strike a balance between preventing financial abuse and facilitating remittance flow through formal channels established;

(c)    voluntary code of conduct for delivering fair value transfers implemented; new regulations and instruments for the Diaspora developed (e.g., new laws on banking regulation to provide instruments to the Diaspora abroad, access to credit, etc.);

(d)    Diaspora bonds issued, and remittances securitized for credit / loans access from the global financial markets (as in the case of Brazil); and

(e)    Remittance-based Investment Fund established and accessed by stakeholders; among others.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)


Categories

%d bloggers like this: