Global payments firm, World Remit has revealed that Zimbabwe was one of five top African destinations that received most remittances in 2019.
Overall remittances channelled through the firm grew 49 percent during the period compared to the previous year.
“The top five countries receiving remittances from the diaspora in 2019 included Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, with Nigeria receiving the most remittances,” World Remit said in a report.
Latest figures released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show that the country received US$504,7 million in remittances in the first half of last year, down 13,2 percent from the same period in 2018.
Full remittance figures for 2019 are yet to be made public, but in 2018 the country received an estimated US$1,1 billion.
World Remit, which is one of several platforms through which Zimbabwe’s diaspora citizens send money back home, said the top sources for remittances were the United States, Australia, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
“The diaspora plays a key role in Africa’s development story. Today, the value of remittances is three times larger than official development assistance, and forecast to become higher than Foreign Direct Investment for a handful of African countries in 2019,” World Remit noted.
The growth in use of digital and mobile penetration across the continent, World Remit said, had also catapulted remittances.
“World Remit has and continues to partner with both mobile money and bricks and mortar agents to increase accessibility to all our customers regardless of whether they are in a city or remote village on the continent,” the firm said.
In Zimbabwe, the firm has partnered with mobile money firm, Ecocash, various banks, microfinance institutions and retailers through which people collect their money sent from abroad. — New Ziana.