Remittances in the Great Lakes Region

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This study aims to provide insight into the advantages and disadvantages of existing transfer methods, governmental and non-state initiatives regarding remittances, and the obstacles and opportunities for harnessing the development impact of these financial flows. The introductory chapter presents a conceptual framework on remittances. The second, third and fourth chapters provide an analysis of the remittance dynamics of the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda.




Until recently, the revival of attention on issues related to remittances and development has not been reflected in the three countries studied in this paper. There is a lack of information on the characteristics of the diaspora populations as well as on the importance, volume, and utilization of remittances. In addition, the influx of official remittances is relatively low compared to other parts of the world. While all developing countries together received US$ 126 billion in 2004 – of which sub-Saharan Africa accounted for US$ 6 billion – in official remittances, the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi received, respectively, only US$ 97 million, US$ 16 million and US$ 4 million (World Bank, 2005; FEC, 2005; and interviews with national banks of Rwanda and Burundi).


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