Zimbabwe: Diaspora remittances to be well above US$1bn in 2020

By Almot Maqolo

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Zimbabwe’s remittance flows will end the year well above US$1 billion, the finance minister said, a situation poised to strengthen the country’s current account position.

This comes against the backdrop that the Sub-Saharan Africa’s remittance flows will decline by 23.1% to reach $37 billion this year owing to Covid-19 crisis, according to the World Bank. But, a recovery of 4% is expected in 2021.

In 2019, the southern African nation received US$635 million, representing a 2.6% increase from US$619.25 million dollars in 2018.

With a diaspora population of over 3 million, as recorded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), remittances form a very important aspect of the Zimbabwean’s social and economic livelihood.

Diaspora cash remittances is a vital source of foreign currency liquidity for the country’s economy and income for many households. 

“I was just looking at the remittance figures from our diaspora and we noticed that figures are up 33%,” said Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube during a media briefing concerning progress on economic reforms under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

“We are almost close to a billion in terms of the latest figures and the year is not over. So quite clearly we will end the year well above a billion and that again will bolster our current account position.”

This year the southern African nation expects a current account surplus of US$1.2 billion.

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