Comorians in the diaspora have been particularly generous since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. money transfers increased by a third in the first five months of the year, compared to last year, according to the Central Bank of the Comoros. This is an unexpected increase as financial institutions are generally fearful of a drop in money transfers to Africa.
This is a divine surprise for the Comorian authorities. According to the Central Bank, money transfers from the diaspora amounted to 74 million euros in the first five months of the year, compared to 56 million euros last year. A rise of a third in the midst of the pandemic, which the governor of the Central Bank attributes to the “traditional solidarity” of the Comorians.
The archipelago of 800,000 inhabitants has a 300,000 strong diaspora, whose generosity is essential to local economic life. Diaspora remittances account for about 20% of the national wealth and are the country’s main source of foreign currency.
As the pandemic has interrupted a number of activities in the Comoros, starting with tourism, it would seem, according to the authorities that the diaspora wanted to compensate for the fall in income. All the more so since, due to the health crisis, many expatriates will not return to the Comoros for summer holidays. But it is still difficult to say whether the Comorian example will be repeated in other countries.
Two months ago, the World Bank predicted a 23% drop in money transfers to Africa this year due to the decline in activity in the countries where the various diaspora live.