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Reducing Costs and Scaling Up UK to Africa Remittances Through Technology

Over the past two decades, there has been a digital revolution with pioneering developments in the form of the internet, email and mobile phones transforming the way information is accessed and communication takes place. For many market analysts, cross-border payments are the next frontier, where innovative technologies will challenge the expensive, clunky business models that currently exist. Mobile phone technology, mobile money, digital currencies, distributed ledgers, electronic identification and cloud technology together have the capacity, for the first time, to technically make crossborder payments negligible in cost, instant, auditable and accessible to everyone. In light of this, of this report by FSD Africa assesses whether the appropriate application of ‘new’ technologies could be leveraged by donors and other development agencies to increase formal remittance flows into Africa and/or reduce the cost of sending money home.Fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) are of particular interest given the importance of remittances to livelihoods and post-conflict development, as well as the exacerbated challenges that are often faced in these jurisdictions.

 

FSD Africa
Created in 2012, FSD Africa is a £30 million financial sector development programme or ‘FSD’ based in Nairobi. It is funded by UK aid from the UK Government. FSD Africa aims to reduce poverty across sub-Saharan Africa by building financial markets that are efficient, robust and inclusive. FSD Africa is a market facilitator or catalyst. It applies a combination of resources, expertise and research to address financial market failures and deliver a lasting impact. FSD Africa has a mandate to work across sub-Saharan Africa on issues that relate to both ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘finance for growth.’ FSD Africa is also a regional platform. It fosters collaboration, best practice transfer, economies of scale and coherence between development agencies, donors, financial institutions, practitioners and government entities with a role in financial market development in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, FSD Africa provides strategic and operational support to the FSD Network.

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