Mauritius wants to host African Institute for Remittances

Mauritius yesterday March 24, 2012 made an offer to host the proposed African Institute for Remittances (AIR).

One of the country’s representatives Ali Mansoor told the ongoing experts meeting of the 5th Joint Annual Meetings of the AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Addis Ababa Ethiopia that his country will be happy to host the centre if that is accepted.

He said the country will write-off the cost of the infrastructure for the institute and make sure it is ready by the end of 2012.

The AU Commission submitted a report on the Preparatory Project for the establishment of AIR to its Executive Council in January 2012. When established AIR will facilitate remittances leverage for economic and social development on the continent.

Available figures cited by Kenneth Coates, former Executive of the Centre for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) shows that $300 billion have been sent to developing countries.

It is also estimated that there are about 30 million Africans living abroad and they send money to 25 million households on the continent and most of that money goes through informal channels. The figures show that they remit as much $40 billion to their families back home.
The experts believe that remittances when properly harnessed will have significant effect in accelerating socio-economic development in Africa.

But  two countries, Ethiopia and Mauritania commenting on Mauritius’s offer to host the centre suggested that any decision to award any country the opportunity to host AIR should be taken in consideration of the fact that it must be closer to other sister institutions.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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