Kenya enjoyed a healthy GDP growth (6.7%) but suffered severe drought in its northeast region, which in part served to attract a robust 20% expansion in remittance receipts.
Tanzania’s receipts were propelled higher by 60% on the back of increased incidence of COVID-19.
The Gambia enjoyed a 30% upturn grounded in a new government (and new currency), while Mozambique’s migrant workforce finally responded with some force (a two-thirds increase in flows to $570 million) to support the hard-hit residents of Cabo Delgado, amid an insurgency against mega liquefied natural gas projects in the region.
Importunately, remittance inflows soared 14.1% to $49 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa during 2021 – more than erasing the falloff of 8.1% recorded in the prior year and representing the strongest gain since 2018.
Factors that supported a return to growth included economic activity in Europe and the United States, which remained firm, and a restoration of recorded inflows to Nigeria, which had slipped by about 28% in 2020 due to increased use of informal channels.
Meanwhile, the report stated that Africa stands as the developing region most exposed to fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as indirect effects build over time. Most countries—net oil/ food importers—are now facing a steep decline in terms of trade, which is increasing deficits and debt, boosting inflation, and cutting into real incomes and growth.
The report said Sub-Saharan Africa remains the costliest developing region to which remittances are sent.
Aggregate regional remittance costs averaged 7.8% during the fourth quarter (Q4) 2021.