The World Bank Migration and Development Report for 2021 has reported an increase of 5 per cent to $3.6 billion in remittances flows to Ghana despite the lockdown in many of the remittances sending countries.
Host countries for Ghanaian migrants include the USA, the UK, Côte d’Ivoire, Italy, Germany, and Canada.
The resilience of Ghanaian migrants has been commended in the face of the harsh economic impact on the top ten remittances sending countries because of the COVID-19.
Madam Abibatou Wane, Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), speaking at the GIZ- Ghana Programme Migration and Diaspora Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Remittance in Accra.
The Dialogue which was on the theme, “Leveraging Remittances for Recovery and Resilience Post-COVID-19” also marked the International Family Day of Remittances.
She said the World Bank had projected that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries was expected to fall by 7 percent, to $508 billion in 2020.
This is followed by a further decline of 7.5 percent to $470 billion in 2021 due to the lockdown and expected economic effects of the Covid-19 in the remittances sending countries but contrary to expectations, remittances to Ghana rather increased.
Madam Wane said in Ghana, remittances were a growing source of foreign funds, raising the standard of living for vulnerable and low-income households across Ghana.
She said from a study conducted by IOM in the Ghana market, Ghana as of 2019 was the second largest recipient of remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Madam Wane said the flows through official channels have increased from $117.6 million in 2007 to an estimated $3.8 billion in 2018, with remittances equate to 7.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.
“It is estimated that if monitored, remittances sent through informal channels could increase total flows by as much as 50 per cent,” she said.
She said the Financial Sector in Ghana, according to Findex, had gone through a period of change over the last 5 years, with financial inclusion reaching 57 per cent in 2017.
Madam Wane informed that increase in mobile penetration had created opportunities for the expansion of financial services by mobile money providers, making Ghana to overtake several markets to become the fastest growing mobile money market in Africa.