Type of practice:
The research responds to the need to develop a specific knowledge base around the increasing importance of mobile remittances. It intends to gather data, generate insights and provide policy guidance on mobile flows for African countries. More specifically, MobileRemit Africa aims at complementing RemitSCOPE Africa, a web-based platform that supplies users with remittance-based data and analytics. The first component of the MobileRemit Africa involves the creation of a mobile-remittance-enablement index score for African countries, allowing for a nuanced understanding of the factors that may aid or impede the adoption of the mobile channel for remittances. The index is built upon 5 pillars that allow for country comparisons and best practices dissemination: e-money international money transfer, market environment, enabling environment, inclusion environment and consumer protection.
Benefit and Impact
In response, IFAD developed MobileRemit Africa as a key instrument of the Platform for Remittances, Investments and Migrants’ Entrepreneurship in Africa (PRIME Africa) initiative, co-financed by the European Union and initially implemented in seven African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, The Gambia and Uganda) along with their main remittance corridors. Considering the crucial role played by digital remittances in recent years, a set of tools has been adopted to cope with those barriers, namely online channels, mobile channels or a combination of both.
Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)
In addition, public and private responses were more effective to cope with the negative effects of the pandemic. However, this required mobile money players' market participation and available conductive regulatory environment.
Furthermore, the initiative boosts the financial resilience and economic empowerment of remittance recipients through cost-effective digital channelling and safeguarding of remittances flows. It also carries the potential to reach more customers in more rural areas and broaden partnerships with relevant stakeholders. Moreover, it foresees the inclusion of local actors to set up business models which can survive at project end in the long run. Last but not least, the practice is in line with the changing circumstances posed by the pandemic since remittances can represent an important shock absorber in times of crisis and can complement public-sector disaster financing or accidents.