Kick-off of the Rabat Forum on the reduction of the costs of remittances of the African Diaspora

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The Rabat forum on the reduction of the costs of remittances of the African Diaspora opened, on January 12, 2023 in Rabat, with the co-chairmanship of Morocco and Togo.

The Forum, which is part of the implementation of the 2021-2031 agenda on African roots and the African Diaspora, aims to conduct a comprehensive reflection on the levers and measures to support the dynamics of remittance flows from the African Diaspora while accelerating efforts to reduce associated costs, to align with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Goal 20 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (making remittances faster, safer and cheaper and promoting financial inclusion of migrants).

In order to achieve practical solutions, the sessions of this event will focus on proposing new innovative, digital and inclusive models/channels and putting in place adequate infrastructure and enabling regulatory frameworks, as well as mapping the African diaspora worldwide, including skills, so as to optimize and strengthen its involvement in the socio-economic development of their countries of origin.

Participants will also study the establishment of an e-business platform that will connect the African diaspora with investors / project holders and create an emulation effect by capitalizing on the success stories of African migrants. The objective is to channel the financial flows of the diaspora towards the formal economy and to call upon the expertise of African nationals to develop innovative models of financial involvement.

Co-chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita and his Togolese counterpart, Robert Dussey, this forum is held with the participation of representatives of the AU Commissioner for Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, the AU Commissioner for Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development as well as the Director of Citizens and Diaspora of the AU (CIDO).

These go in addition to representatives of Africa's partners and financial institutions, notably the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The opening session of this forum was marked by speeches delivered by Bourita and Dussey as well as those Annette Seck, Senegalese official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, and Bank Al-Maghrib Governor Abdellatif Jouahri.

This two-day event is structured around three plenary sessions, namely "Reduction of remittance costs and contribution of the African diaspora to development and poverty alleviation in Africa through remittances", "Prospects for remittances from the African diaspora: regulatory and operational framework" and "Digitization of financial services and innovative mechanisms for the reduction of transfer costs".

This forum aims to achieve the "Rabat Conclusions", including the recommendations of the plenary sessions, with the establishment of a steering committee to support African states in their actions to reduce the cost of money transfers from the African diaspora to their home continent.

The recommendations contained in the "Rabat Conclusions" are to be proposed to the AU Summit scheduled for February 2023 with a view to reaching an AU Decision aimed at promoting and boosting remittances from the African diaspora to the continent, in particular by reducing their cost.

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