Revealed: Gambia Diaspora remittances hit 270M Dollars
Gambia Diaspora remittances hit $270M
The Gambian diaspora sent remittances totaling $270M in 2018, according to reliable sources privy to the Central bank report ahead of its publication. With large populations in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Italy among others, Gambians abroad remain a significant source of foreign exchange and investment.
Global remittances had grown to a record level of $613-billion in 2017, a 7% increase from $573-billion in 2016, according to the World Bank. Nigeria (with $21.9-billion) was the largest remittance recipient in 2017 , followed by Senegal ($2.2-billion), and Ghana ($2.2-billion). The report found that remittances are a significant share of gross domestic product in several countries in the region, including Liberia (27%), The Gambia (21%), and Comoros (21%). Speaking to Gunjuronline on the contributions of the African diaspora, the founder of Gunjur Marlborough Link and former director of Commonwealth organisation Building International Links for Development(BUILD), Dr Nick Maurice recalled: “In a conversation with a group of Gambian friends when I was in Gunjur a year ago they quite spontaneously said to me “ One of the greatest contributions that the Marlborough Gunjur link has made for the people of Gunjur is to provide opportunities for young people to travel to and live and work in other parts of the world”. My immediate reaction was one of sadness that they did not want to stay in their own country and support its development. But then I thought “Wait a minute! I am using double standards here! We in the UK think it is alright for our young to emigrate to Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, etc (and so many of our young do precisely that to improve their lives). “Why is it not alright for young people from The Gambia to seek a better life in, for example, Europe?”. Nick Maurice added: “One thought was the extraordinary contribution that the African diaspora is already making. It is estimated that three times the amount of official aid that is provided for development programmes in Africa, whether bilateral Government to Government aid, multilateral aid through the UN, WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, or support from NGOS such as Oxfam, the Gates Foundation etc, three times that total amount is provided through remittances sent by the African diaspora living in other countries. And of course that money goes directly to where it is needed most, namely families at the grass roots, whereas the bilateral and multilateral aid goes to Government”.