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Rabat Forum Aims to Establish ‘Concrete’, ‘Tangible’ Actions to Address African Diaspora’s Remittance Cost – FM

The Rabat Forum on reducing the cost of remittances from the diaspora aims to establish “concrete and tangible actions” to address the cost of remittances from the African diaspora, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita said on Thursday.

“This forum marks the transition from a political and diplomatic discourse to a more pragmatic approach,” said Bourita at the opening of this one-day event, stressing the need to “manage in a concrete and tangible way the issues related to the transfer of funds from the diaspora.”

The African diaspora now forms the 6th region of the continent with a total population of over 150 million individuals in 2021, with remittances to the continent that have continued to increase to reach 95.6 billion dollars in 2021, including 10 billion in Morocco, continued the Minister, noting that this diaspora is not only a provider of funds, but also economic stability in the continent, whose contribution exceeds the official development assistance and FDI.

Bourita also deplored the costs of these transfers, “the most expensive in the world,” stating that the average costs amount to nearly 8% for sub-Saharan Africa, against 6% in the world, nearly triple the percentage targeted by the tenth goal of sustainable development 2030.

This is “a fundamental issue” and “a priority for the continent”, he said, calling to translate the debates and political will into proactive policy, through the reflection on pragmatic measures concerning technological tools, the establishment of a coherent legal framework and the establishment of an environment conducive to competition between providers.

This conference is also an opportunity to extend a joint commitment between Togo and Morocco and a joint action based on the initiative of Togo, which chairs the High Committee on the decade of African roots and the African diaspora, he added.

Organized in the form of plenary sessions, this forum aims to achieve the “Conclusions of Rabat”, including recommendations from the work of plenary sessions, with the establishment of a steering committee to support African states in their actions to reduce the cost of remittances from the African diaspora to their home continent.

The recommendations contained in the “Rabat Conclusions” are to be proposed to the African Union (AU) Summit scheduled for February 2023 with a view to reaching an AU decision aimed at promoting and boosting remittances from the African diaspora to the continent, in particular by reducing their cost.

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