In 2012, the African diaspora sent home $60-billion in remittance payments to the continent, according to the World Bank's Send Money Africa report. This represented a significant contribution to the gross domestic product of some African countries.
It is however sad that Sub-Saharan Africa was the most expensive region to send money to, with average remittance costs reaching 12.4%. This is almost 12% higher than the global average of 8.96% and nearly twice the cost of sending money to South Asia, which had the world's lowest prices at about 6.54%. Further, the remittance prices were even higher between African nations.
Tariff and non-tariff barriers thicken the wall that traps Africans in economic poverty. Protectionism, tariffs and non-tariff barriers within the continent encourage African markets to be oriented towards former colonizers. The African Union ought to work towards facilitating efficiency in movement of cash, goods and services into and out of the continent. This will tackle such challenges as food insecurity, poor healthcare, conflicts and further promote diversified economies arising from competitive healthy trading amongst and between African nations. Eliminating of unnecessary tariff and non-tariff barriers will make African entrepreneurs relevant players in the global trade system. External stakeholders in the transfer chain also stand to gain they ensure that the process is easier, cheaper and secure, as this will translate to more investment and business opportunities.
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