August 26, 2017 – A study funded by the European Union and supported by Caribbean and Pacific Group of States revealed that Ethiopia has made fast progress in remittance flow in recent years. Presenting the study in Ethiopia, DMA Chief Executive Officer Leon Isaacs said the growth over the years represents more than 5.3 percent of the Ethiopia’s GDP.
He said subsequent directives such as zero charge tariff on transfer services issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NEB) to improve remittance flow has supported Ethiopia to increase remittance flow.
Despite the success, 78 percent of the total remittance was sent through informal channels, according to the researcher. Lack of access to services in sending and receiving markets, high direct or indirect costs associated with formal channels, illegal migration and the existence of parallel market exchange rates have contributed to the high level of informal transfer in Ethiopia, he added.
Isaacs recommended to the Ethiopian Government the introduction of multi-stakeholder working group related facilitating productive remittances. Among the recommendations include improving irregular migrants’ access to formal remittance by addressing the issue of identification.
“Undocumented Ethiopian migrants in many of the key send countries to Ethiopia are prevented from accessing the formal remittance system,” the CEO said, adding that “overall it is estimated that 60-70 percent of Ethiopian migrants travelling to Gulf States are undocumented.”
Foreign Affairs State Minster, Hirut Zemene said a foreign exchange earnings from remittance is closing on the income from tourism sector. However, she added that Ethiopia is not earning the amount of money that it could get because of illegal money transfer.
The Ethiopian official also said the government will seriously consider all the recommendations by the study to increase remittance. The flow of remittance to Ethiopia was 1.9 billion USD in 2010, USD 2.4 billion in 2012/13, USD 2.9 billion in 2013/14 and USD 3 billion in 2014/15
Source: Ethiopian News Agency