We are talking a lot and hearing so much about remittances and how to send money from developed countries to developing countries. But we forget that in most cases, people send money from developing countries to other developing countries. It’s not North to South remittances, it’s South to South transfers.
Why don’t we hear more about this kind of remittances?
We don’t hear much about these remittances because they don’t concern the big companies but this is not the main reason. The main reason is that it is so hard to track. We have very little information about how the money travels between Zimbabwe and the countries around as people are mainly using a Hawala system. Giving money to someone they trust to transfer is sometimes the way to get the best rates. This is really expensive to send money from South to South countries with other companies. The world bank reports some figures which goes up to 20% of what you are sending.
Where does people send money from Zimbabwe
With the little information we have, we still managed to track down the countries were Zimbabwean send money. The main one is the Mozambique, totally normal. People going to work cross country and sending money back home. The second one is United Kingdom, a little bit more surprising but let’s not forget that they used to be under British colonization and they recognize the Queen. There is a lot of British expatriates in Zimbabwe and this goes the same on the other way. Then South Africa with the really high and expensive transfers, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Rwanda. So the only North country is United Kingdom, which is not so surprising. Let’s not forget that we based this study on the World Bank data which are not as complete as they could be. We hope to have better information soon.