BoU Embarks On Study Of Diaspora Remittances

The Bank of Uganda has embarked on a study to establish how much money Ugandans living abroad have sent into the country during the past year.

The survey will also establish the amount of money and items that non-Ugandans living in the country have sent abroad during the same period, according to a statement by the Bank.

It adds that the survey would also determine how the money is sent, received and utilized besides the total amount of the personal transfers.

According to the statement, a team of interviewers would visit selected households to gather the information. Both the Bank of Uganda and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) are conducting the survey.

Last year, the United Nations Development Program – UNDP – sought to undertake a similar study to ascertain the feasibility of issuing an international bond for purposes of mobilizing resources from Ugandans in the Diaspora to finance national development projects.

The study sought information that included how regularly Ugandans abroad send money home, what means they use and the purpose for the remittances.

Job Elogu, the Head of the Diaspora Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says that the Diasporas were playing significant contribution towards the development of the country. He says about 1.5 million Ugandans are believed to be living abroad.

Elogu said they are working with the Bank of Uganda to design means of ensuring that Ugandans abroad can easily remit money bank home.

In 2010, Ugandans living abroad remitted 768 million dollars, according to UNDP. The amount outstrips the financial assistance in form of loans that the country received from World Bank in the last two years.

Last year, Uganda received 235 million dollars in loans from the World Bank compared to 345 million dollars in 2011.

A statement by Bank of Uganda says that information from the survey would help generate Balance of Payment statistics, a key data input for monitoring and planning the economy.

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