NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Remittances became a key issue in improving the economy of East Africa as the World Economic Forum came to an end this weekend in Davos, Switzerland.
Speakers at Davos highlighted the important role of remittances from the diaspora as vital sources of income for the poor in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
The Forum, in which international business and political leaders gather for an annual meeting on global politics, economics, and social issues, was categorical on remittances; stating that they inject the much needed foreign currency in the economies of East Africa.
Key speakers at the Forum that ran from January 23-26 said the support of the international community is vital – especially for Somalia and the Somali diaspora, as the region has experienced years of instability, which have adversely affected the economy.
Chief Executive Officer of Dahabshil, a money transfer company, Abdirashid Duale, says money transfer plays a big role in improving livelihoods of the impoverished in Africa.
“We will work towards improving technology in all sectors, be it in agriculture, business or any other sector, so as to help Africans achieve more,” said Duale.
He said that Africa’s success is critical to global stability, and international partnerships were needed to build a global consensus on remittances, to help fight poverty, instability, and displacement.
Duale welcomed efforts by the World Bank and the UN to secure global remittances in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to be adopted in 2018 and recognized the important leadership role by the co-Chairs Mexico and Switzerland, at the Puerto Vallarta preparatory meeting. Remittances, he explained, “…ought to be enshrined in principles of human rights, a gender perspective, and shared responsibility, as provided for by the new Compact”.
“I welcome the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on the Future of Economic Progress, which aims to inform and enable sustained and inclusive economic progress through deepened public-private cooperation through thought leadership and analysis, strategic dialogue and concrete cooperation, including accelerating social impact through corporate action especially business in Africa,” added Duale.
Praising Somalia’s private sector for its role in the survival of the country, the Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said: “Despite considerable challenges, Somalia’s private sector has continued to provide critical services in the survival and recovery of the Somali people,” he said, pointing out that remittances are a key investment resource that call for effective public-private partnership.
Leading a Somali delegation for the first time to the World Economic Forum (WEF2018) in Davos, the Prime Minister had several bilateral meetings with executives of international institutions and world leaders.
The forum brought together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for four days in the Swiss resort of Davos, to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.
Davos 2018 ran on the theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World” and will be the 48th forum to date.
Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum said the increasing failure and inability to achieve inclusive growth and preserve resources calls for the development of new models for cooperation.
“Our collective inability to secure inclusive growth and preserve our scarce resources puts multiple global systems at risk simultaneously. Our first response must be to develop new models for cooperation that are not based on narrow interests but on the destiny of humanity as a whole,” Schwab said.