NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- African
Diaspora should use postal services to cut down on the cost of sending
remittances to their relatives back home, Bishar Hussein, the Director General
of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) said on Saturday.
in a statement issued to mark the International Day of Family Remittances that
that African migrants have been incurring huge expenses to send money to their
relatives hence the need to explore safer, convenient and cheaper option
provided by the post office.
Africa is the world’s most expensive region to send money home. Africans last
year paid an average of almost ten cents for every dollar sent thus hitting the
poor in rural areas hardest,” said Hussein.
solution may come in the form of something that has been a staple of African
community life for over hundreds of years; the humble but resilient post
office,” he added.
International Day of Family Remittances focused on harnessing the untapped
potential of postal services to revolutionize Diaspora remittances.
that remittances from African Diaspora remains an integral component of the
continent’s socio-economic transformation hence the need to lower the cost of
200 million people in Africa rely on payments from abroad and some 80 million
live in rural areas. The lack of roads and bridges can make badly-needed access
to financial services challenging,” said Hussein.
that hidden charges that include transport fees, monopolistic tendencies by
service providers as well as security risks have driven up the cost of sending
remittances to Africa.
governments, multilateral agencies and consumer lobby groups should earmark
resources to revamp postal services that are capable of delivering remittances
in a cheaper and effective manner.
that post offices remain an enduring mode of sending and receiving money and
parcels in Africa despite the onslaught of digital revolution.
Sub-Saharan African countries, post offices are less than ten minutes walk away
for 42 percent of their customers; their proximity shows that postal operators
are well-placed to deliver financial services to their customers,” said Hussein.
that in Benin and Madagascar, 67 percent of recipients walked to the nearest
post offices to obtain their remittances and the scenario was replicated in
Senegal and Ghana where 62 and 57 percent of the beneficiaries received their
money at the post office respectively.
stressed that reducing the cost of sending Diaspora remittances to Africa is key
to achieve the UN 2030 goal 10 on reducing inequalities.
well-positioned to help achieve this goal. They have the networks, logistics and
strong ties to government,” Hussein said.