Malawi receives K28bn in remittances in 2015


Remittances to the country reached $38 million (K28 billion) in 2015, a sluggish growth from $34 million (K24 billion) registered in 2013, and $28 million (K20 billion) in 2012.

Malawi, like many other countries in Africa benefits a lot from remittances as the money is tapped to raise the much-needed development financing.

In fact, remittances make up a significant source of financing on the continent, supporting families and driving investment.

According to a report from the Trade and Law Centre on Moving Money Across Borders, Malawi has not been able to register any growth in remittances between 2014 and 2015.

Msowoya: Economics downturn in south africa to blame
Msowoya: Economics downturn in south africa to blame

But top economies in the region which received more money from its citizens abroad include South Africa, which accumulated $866 million, Lesotho $420 million, Madagascar $427 million and Tanzania $389 million while neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia accumulated $161 million and $58 million, respectively.

Angola had the lowest levels at $11 million.

Financial analysts believe that since remittance receivers often have a higher propensity to own a bank account, they promote access to financial services for the sender and recipient, an aspect that promotes economic development.

On the other hand, international trade experts contend that remittances are playing an increasingly large role in the economies of many countries worldwide by contributing to economic growth and helping livelihoods of less prosperous people.

In an interview on Tuesday, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) spokesperson Mbane Ngwira said the central bank could not comment on the figures as it was still working on its assessments on the same.

But in a previous interview, Ngwira said that the Central Bank was working on a number of initiatives to encourage receipts.

However, Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya told Business Review that Malawi failed to increase its receipts due to economic downturn in South Africa.

“Our sense is that this has been due to the general economic downturn in South Africa, which is the regional economic hub,” he said.

A report by World Bank released in 2012 revealed that Malawi is one of the few African countries which is most expensive to send money to and faulted banks as the most expensive remittance service providers.

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