A Study of the Impact of Remittances from Portugal and South Africa

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This study sheds some light into the kinds of relationships that Angolans living in Portugal and South Africa keep with their country of origin, focusing on the financial remittances that they send back to Angola, as well as on aspects such as the level of organization and the transnational engagement of these communities in the development of their country of origin. This study shows that there are many opportunities to further involve Angolans abroad in development cooperation. Facilitating remittance transfers through the adoption of appropriate policies and regulations, to foster competition among service providers in bilateral corridors as well as internally, is one example. Most importantly, reaching out to Angolans in Portugal and south Africa and building trust among these groups seems to be a precondition for enhancing the role of Angolan diasporas in development.




In 2005, there were some 191 million international migrants, of which 86 million were labour migrants (OSCE, IOM and ILO, 2006). Over the last five years, the number of international migrants increased by 9 per cent (DESA, 2008) and it is expected to reach 214 million by 2010, despite the global economic downturn. More than 16 million Africans are migrants, and 13 million Africans are internally displaced persons (IDPs). Moreover, one in four African countries are or were afflicted by armed conflict and many more suffer from a deteriorating environmental, climatic and natural resources base (UN-INSTRAW and SAIIA, 2007: 10). It is believed that 69 per cent of total migration flows from sub-Saharan Africa occur within the region (Ratha and Shaw, 2007: 7). Social, family, ethnic and religious networks, as well as cultural proximity, seasonal migration opportunities, and civil conflicts are the most common determinants of South-South migration. Almost 80 per cent of South-South migration takes place between countries with contiguous borders, mostly between countries where differences of income are relatively small (Ratha and Shaw, 2007).


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