The Promota Magazine
Bank of Uganda reaching out to the Diaspora
Bank of Uganda congratulates the Ugandan Diaspora on the successful first ever Ugandan Convention in the UK which was held in August 2011
The Bank works closely with other stakeholders in improving statistics on money sent home by Ugandans living abroad. Through annual surveys of recipients of workers’ remittances in Uganda, the Bank is able to establish the size of cash and non-cash remittances, the remittance channels used and the use of the remittances, among others. The information collected is used for compiling statistics, which are important for macroeconomic policy formulation. In addition, the information collected is used by the private sector in the development of new products for the benefit of both senders and recipients. To complement the local surveys, the Bank conducts surveys of Ugandans in the Diaspora.
We are happy to note that, despite the prevailing global economic conditions, Ugandans in the Diaspora continue to send money home. In 2009, the surveys revealed that total workers’ remittances amounted to US$778 million, registering an increase of 6.3 percent over the 2008 estimate of US$732 million. Most of the beneficiaries of the remittances spent them on household expenses and education. Almost 40 percent of the remittances were used for savings and investment. This underscores the importance of remittances to Uganda and highlights the significant socio-economic contribution of the Diaspora. Provisional estimates indicate that about US$768 million was received in 2010.
Measuring remittance flows to Uganda still presents challenges, yet availability of timely and reliable data on remittances is necessary for our country to maximize benefits accruing from such flows.
The Bank supports the development of coherent policies meant to reduce transfer costs, enhance the contribution of remittances, and ensure the use of financial instruments to attract remittances through official channels. We therefore need to work together to devise means for better estimation of remittances both at the sending and receiving ends. Accordingly, we encourage the Diaspora to send money home through formal channels.
The Bank realizes the existence of information gaps and is committed to enhancing awareness by providing timely information, and conducting sensitization initiatives for the benefit of Ugandans in the Diaspora and other stakeholders.
We commend the Ugandan Diaspora for the continued contribution towards nation building through money sent home and provision of timely information. We further urge the Diaspora to participate in the Bank of Uganda survey activities. The information provided is purely for statistical purposes and is treated with utmost confidentiality.
We encourage the Diaspora to support Bank of Uganda in our efforts to spearhead improvements in transfer channels in the financial sector that ensure safe, reliable and affordable services and also provide timely, reliable and accurate statistics on remittances.
Management, Bank of Uganda