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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Remittances by Zambians abroad..

Fantastic reporting by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe. This is the first time we are having a proper public record of how much is being sent by the Zambian diaspora on a monthly basis, through "official channels". Would be good to see BOZ now publish these statistics in their quarterly briefs:

Remittances by Zambians in the diaspora jumped from K24.4 billion in January to K35.5 billion last August owing to investible opportunities in the country, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has revealed. According to recent statistics released by BoZ head of public Relations Kanguya Mayondi, the January figure was a leap from last year’s which closed December at the paltry K4.8 billion from K3.4 billion recorded the previous month.

Mayondi stated that in the first eight months of this year, the country had recorded an increase in remittances except in July when they slowed down to K27.4 billion compared with K31.1 billion the month before. He, however, did not explain the drop in the inflows from Zambians in diaspora in the month of July.

And commenting on the development separately, BoZ governor Dr Caleb Fundanga attributed the increase to an improvement in collection of information and the country’s economic climate. “We also have now the tools to be able to do something in terms of financial products which address the inflows,” Dr Fundanga said. He said currently, there were more Zambians abroad. “…but also the economic environment has improved. In the past some of the Zambians who went abroad did not want anything to do with Zambia; they just said ‘to hell’!” Dr Fundanga said. “But now, most Zambians abroad are seeing hope so they want to bring in money to build a house, you have seen them. Some of them are genuinely coming to invest in new businesses. That is also because in the past, they could not come because they knew if they invest, the money would just be lost but now they know they can grow the money.”


  1. It would be interesting to know what financial products are being created to address the inflows. To be honest, I did not think that the figure for remittances would be this high, so I am pleasantly surprised. Properly channelled, these remittances should help grow the economy. However, I have a niggling suspicion that most of these remittances are spent on personal day to day consumption, rather than long term investment.

  2. Besides, these remittance could even be more if the government agreed with their counterparts about this arrangement. Some countries, for example RSA, have tight forex control, thereby, making remittances almost impossible. If the governments wishes to grow the economy using this approach, it should address it because the potential exists.

  3. 'Jason',

    Oh you have a niggling suspicion, do you?


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