According to the Bank, remittances to the region have been recovering from the contraction associated with the global financial crisis, but growth has been modest.
“In 2012, the region is estimated to have received about $31 billion in remittances, only about a 1% increase over 2011,” said the World Bank in its latest edition of the Migration and Development Brief.
Nigeria was the largest recipient of remittances in the region as the World Bank indicated that it accounted for about 67% of the inflows to the region, followed by Senegal and Kenya.
The Bank also attributed the zero growth in flows to Nigeria in 2012 partly to the “feeble labour market recovery of its major remittance source countries in Europe, the UK in particular”.
In Ghana, remittances amounted to $18.7 billion in 2012, according to the Bank of Ghana. The amount was remitted through banks in Ghana during 2012.
The private inwards transfer was a growth of 4.9% from 2011, the BoG said mid-February 2013. Of the total transfers, the BoG said, $1.8 billion accrued to individuals compared to 2011’s $1.9 billion.
Meanwhile, the World Bank says it expects remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa to grow significantly in the coming years to reach about $39 billion in 2015.
The Bank estimated that global remittances, including those to high-income countries, reached $514 billion in 2012, compared to $132 billion in 2000 indicating that remittance flows to developing countries more than quadrupled since 2000.
According to the World Bank Brief, officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries grew by 5.3% to reach an estimated $401 billion in 2012.
It mentioned that the top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2012 were India ($69 billion), China ($60 billion), the Philippines ($24 billion), Mexico ($23 billion) and Nigeria and Egypt ($21 billion each).
Remittances to developing countries are expected to grow by an annual average of 8.8% for the next three years and are forecast to reach $515 billion in 2015.
The World Bank noted that since many migrants send money and goods through people or informal channels, the true size of remittances are much larger than the officially recorded figures.
In a related development, the World Bank has launched what it calls the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) which is envisioned to become a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise on migration issues.
KNOMAD was initiated in response to the rapid growth in migration and remittances over the last decade, the World Bank says.
By Ekow Quandzie