Back in early 2020, the World Bank projected that global remittances would decline by as much as 20%. The main reason for this is, of course, the impact of global lockdowns on the employment opportunities for those in the diaspora.
“Remittances are a vital source of income for developing countries. The ongoing economic recession caused by COVID-19 is taking a severe toll on the ability to send money home and makes it all the more vital that we shorten the time to recovery for advanced economies”David Malpass, World Bank Group President
However, throughout 2020 the volumes of money sent to Zimbabwe has been on the up. The upward trend has been so sharp that 2020 was able to register the most money sent from abroad than in any other year. According to the RBZ’s figures, remittances for 2020 stood at just over US$1 billion, breaking the record that was set in 2015 (US$939 million).
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|Amount||838 million||939 million||776 million||699 million||619 million||636 million||1.002 billion|
Remittances space in Zimbabwe 2020
Banks and Money Transfer Agents have been partnering up left right and centre. Late last year, CABS and World Remit entered into a union, as well as BancABC and Western Union. CBZ Bank in July went a step further and made it’s Robert Mugabe branch a dediated money transfer center.
When it comes to the smaller and newer establishments, none did it bigger in 2020 than Senditoo. One of its first moves for the year was introducing a referral system where every Zimbabwean gets US$10 for every person they brought to its money transfer service. Senditoo the followed this up by cutting all fees for any amount that was sent to Zimbabwe.
All of these developments meant that the industry which was earlier projected to see a downturn, made considerable srtides. This I think speaks to the innovation in the space, but more so to the resilience of those abroad who continued to support their families during a difficult year