International Day of Family Remittances celebrated
16-19 June 2015 in Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy 16 June 2015: The first ever International Day of Family Remittances was celebrated on 16 June 2015 at the opening of the Global Forum on Remittances and Development (GFRD2015). The Day - 16 June - unanimously proclaimed by 176 member states of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The creation of the Day was unanimously recommended by representatives of the public and private sectors, and the civil society at the Global Forum on Remittances and Development (GFRD2013) held in Bangkok, Thailand.
IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations, called upon to take the lead in developing formal recognition of the Day. As part of the effort, the official celebration of the first International Day of Family Remittances took place on 16 June 2015. High level representatives of governments as well as international organizations, civil society and private-sector leaders participated the event.
African Institute for Remittances (AIR), a specialized technical office of the African Union Commission, participated in the celebration of the first International Day of Family Remittances – 16 June. The AIR team, led by Mr. Hailu Kinfe, will continue to participate on the forum and AIR will also be part of the exhibition organized at the margin of the GFRD2015 on 16-19 June 2015 in Milan, Italy. Briefings on the mandate and role of the Institute were made as well as informational materials are distributed to more than 400 participants representing various government, civil society as well as the private sector.
The AIR was launched in Nairobi, Kenya with its mission “to work exclusively in the areas of African remittances, enhancing market competition to make remittance transfers to and within Africa cheaper, safer, faster and easier so as to maximize their impact on the economic and social development of African Countries”. The objectives are i) improving the statistical measurement, compiling and reporting capabilities of Member States on remittances data; ii) promoting appropriate reforms to the legal and regulatory frameworks on remittances, payment and settlement systems as well as uses of innovative technologies so as to ensure greater competition and efficiency, resulting in reductions of transfer costs; and iii) leverage the potential impact of remittances on social and economic development of African countries as well as promoting financial inclusion.
According to recent estimations, remittances sent by over 30 million African migrant workers, reached more than US$ 64 billion in 2014 (about 20% is originated within Africa) benefitting at least 120 million family members living back home. For many African households, remittances constitute a significant share of their income, reducing poverty and stimulating inclusive growth.
African Union Commission