In 2015, money transfers by African migrants to their region or country of origin surged by 3.4% to $35.2 billion, a report by World Bank and other development partners revealed.

This sum, which includes intra-African transfers, represents 6% of total transfers by migrants worldwide to their region or country of origin. Total migrant transfers worldwide, even though down as compared to the previous year is estimated at $581.6 billion.

This information goes against the trend, before the Syrian conflict and refugees’ influx, which puts Africa as number one in terms of migration and due to which some European countries raised barriers thus making it more difficult for Africans to get visas.

Over the past four years, transfers by African migrants to their homes reached $134 .4 billion. A relatively low figure compared to licit and illicit financial flows from Africa.

According to a report published in 2015 by African Union High Level Panel against illicit financial flows, fiscal optimisation allows Africa-based multinationals to send out up to $50 billion each year. To that are added profit transfers which are authorized in most African countries where close to 60% of invested capital stock belongs, directly or indirectly, to foreigners.

The report said high operations costs were behind the low level of money transferred by African migrants. It adds that these costs, though lower as compared to the year before (11.4%) represent 9.5% of total transferred.

There are presently 250 million migrants worldwide, refugees included. Populations with highest levels of migrants include Mexicans (migrating to the USA), Gulf countries and Russia’s satellites States.

The World Bank’s report however, shows that African nations host at least four million migrants, either there to do business (South Africa) or as a result of the rising insecurity (Cameroon, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, etc.) that the continent records.