Ethiopia receives $780mn remittances from the Diaspora

August 17, 2010

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Ethiopia has obtained around $780 million from remittances from Ethiopians in the Diaspora in the past ten months, the Ethiopian National Bank said here on Tuesday.

According to the bank, this year’s earnings from remittances exceed that of last year by about nine per cent.

An estimated one million Ethiopians are estimated to live outside their country, mostly in the United States and Europe.

The bank said that the amount of remittances Ethiopia is getting each year is on the rise, especially since the past three years.

“We have enforced a new legislation allowing the Diaspora to have saving accounts in US Dollars, which is encouraging many citizens to do so,” said the bank.

However, according to available information, Ethiopia is getting lower remittances than other neighbouring countries, such as Kenya and Egypt.

In 2007, Kenyans in the Diaspora had sent home nearly 1.6 billion dollars, achieving a per capita remittance of 42 dollars.

Ethiopians on the other hand sent home only 359 million dollars, with a per capita remittance of only four dollars, according to a United Nations report for 2009.

However, 1.2 billion to 1.5 billion dollars was remitted to Ethiopia through the non-banking system.

Ethiopia is expecting the remittances to rise to around one billion in the next few years.