Nairobi — Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Roseline Njogu has urged Central Bank Governors from IGAD states to develop frameworks that will make diaspora remittances easier to track.
Njogu said countries are losing out on revenue generated from monies sent back home as Africans abroad send money back home through informal channels.
She points out that the high cost of remittances and issues of double taxation have been brought to the attention of the government.
“How do we make it easier for diasporans to remit money, how do we make it cheaper for them to remit money, how do we deal with the remittance that we can’t quite track,” the PS said.
Government data indicates that in 2022, Kenya received $4 billion, which was higher compared to foreign currency inflows from tourism, coffee, and tea.
The PS was speaking during a two-day forum themed ‘Unlocking the Potential of Remittances for Sustainable Development.
The forum, which is organized by IGAD in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Governors of Central Banks, deliberated on opportunities that promote remittance policies and regulations that offer deeper financial markets, streamline supervision, implement cost reductions, and open service access, thus fostering economic growth.
She said that fragmented laws governing the licensing of remittance services are some of the issues that should be dealt with.
“The issues that arose at this meeting, namely, disjointed laws and regulations on licensing of Remittance Service Providers, incompatibility of payment systems, unavailability of data on remittance flows,” she stated.
According to the executive secretary of IGAD, Workneh Gebeyeh, the costs and volumes of sending money to the IGAD region are still high compared to other parts of the world.