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Remittances: Ghana places 2nd in Sub-Sahara Africa with $4.6bn in 2023 – WB Report

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Ghana emerged as the second-largest recipient of remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023, receiving an estimated $4.6 billion, according to the latest World Bank 2024 Migration and Development Report.

Nigeria topped the list of the largest recipients of remittances in the region with an estimated $19.5 billion, followed by Ghana with $4.6 billion.

Despite a slight overall decrease in remittance flows to the region, Ghana’s position underscores the significant role of remittances in the country’s economy.

Other countries in the top ten categories for remittance recipients in Sub-Saharan Africa included Kenya in third place with an estimated $4.2 billion, Zimbabwe in fourth with $3.1 billion, and Senegal with $2.9 billion in remittances for 2023.

The rest comprised the Democratic Republic of Congo with $1.4 billion, Uganda with $1.3 billion, Mali with $1.2 billion, and both Sudan and South Africa with $1.0 billion each.

The World Bank noted that remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa were nearly 1.5 times larger than Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in 2023 and were relatively more stable.

According to the United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD), FDI to the region totalled $38.6 billion in 2023, mainly driven by greenfield project announcements in Kenya and Nigeria.

The report emphasised that remittances have become the most significant foreign exchange earner in several countries. In Kenya, for instance, remittances exceed the value of key exports such as tourism, tea, coffee, and horticulture. Countries heavily reliant on remittances as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) include The Gambia, Lesotho, Comoros, Liberia, and Cabo Verde, with remittances contributing over one-fifth of GDP in the first three countries.

The report also highlighted that regional growth in remittances in 2023 was mainly driven by significant increases in Uganda (15% to $1.4 billion), Rwanda (9.3% to $0.5 billion), Kenya (2.6% to $4.2 billion), and Tanzania (4% to $0.7 billion). Remittances to Nigeria, which account for about 35 percent of total remittance inflows to the region, decreased by 2.9 percent to $19.5 billion.

Meanwhile, growth of remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to recover slightly from negative growth of -0.3 percent in 2023 to +1.5 percent in 2024.

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