African diaspora populations are growing, as are their savings and the scale of resources available to reinvest in their countries of origin.
The World Bank estimates Africans in the diaspora save about Ksh.7.1 trillion ($53bn) per year and, in 2021, recorded remittances reached over Ksh.12.8 trillion ($95.6bn) sent to and within Africa.
With about four million Africans staying abroad, they have contributed to the economy out of ten countries which top as highest recipients of remittances.
They include Nigeria ($19.2 billion or Ksh.1.6 trillion), Ghana ($4.5 billion or Ksh.6.5.1 billion), Kenya ($3.7 billion or Ksh.497.5 billion), Senegal ($2.7 billion).
Others are Zimbabwe ($2.0 billion), the Democratic Republic of Congo ($1.3 billion), Uganda ($1.1 billion), Mali ($1.1 billion), South Africa ($900 million), and Togo ($700 million).
Africa’s top remittance recipients as a proportion of their economies are South Sudan, Lesotho and Gambia with 35%, 21% and 15% of GDP respectively coming from remittances, according to World Bank statistics.
Speaking at the 25th Annual Harvard Africa Business Conference 2023 – Africa Accelerated, where he shared insights on innovative solutions for addressing Africa’s housing deficit, Shelter Afrique managing director Thierno-Habib Hann said over 170 million people of African descent that live all over the world present a formidable resource pool for the continent’s infrastructure development, including housing.
“We are considering tapping into the diaspora to enhance affordable housing delivery by setting up diaspora bonds for affordable housing and infrastructure development, skills transfer, and leveraging on their networks and outreach,” said Hann.
Since 2000, five countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Rwanda – with an estimated total diaspora population of four million individuals, or 12 percent of total African migrants, have issued diaspora bonds.
Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique is targeting the African Diaspora to enhance affordable housing delivery across the continent.