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Diaspora remittances up by over 18 percent

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Diaspora remittances have risen to over US$490 million in the first quarter of the year, as Zimbabweans living abroad play an active role in national economic development.

According to information contained in a Central Bank report, the current inflows could even be higher, taking into account some of the funds that are not accounted for in the formal financial systems.

It also shows that the 18 percent increase reflects inflows of US$492 million in the first three months of this year compared to US$420 million in the same period last year.

The bulk of the inflows is being accounted for by the real estate projects mainly residential properties, followed by mining, agriculture, energy, retail and household consumption.

Economist, Dr Nyasha Kaseke says Zimbabwe, like any other global economic player, should tap the diaspora market in terms of boosting investments and overall socio-economic development.

“The diaspora market is emerging as a key economic player within the country to the extent that the latest figure could even be higher taking into consideration some of the inflows that are not accounted for within the normal financial challenges however it is exciting to know that the remittances continue to grow and expectations that they will further bolster the country’s ability to attract the much-needed funding and revenues for the overall growth of this economy.”

Of the total remittances for the first quarter, South Africa continues to be the main contributor, followed by the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia.

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