Remittances from Rwandans living abroad reached US$80 million within the first six months of this year, which indicates the members of the Diaspora’s increased involvement in the country’s development.
Remittances are a growing source of foreign exchange for Rwanda alongside coffee, tea, minerals and tourism.
According to official figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rwandans living abroad shipped in US$539.2m over the last six years, which peaked at US$166.2m year on year in 2011, up from US$25.1m in 2006.
The ministry attributes the trend to steady economic growth, economic and political stability as well economic recession in developed countries.
“The trend is expected to grow because government has deliberately invested in this area of the economy. We have a full directorate (in charge) of the Rwanda communities living abroad under which are departments like the Diaspora services,” said Jack Tutuba, the Programme specialist in charge of Financial Transfers and Investment at the ministry.
He said the move by Bank of Kigali and Kenya Commercial Bank to waive charges on remittances to their client accounts is one of the contributing factors to rise in remittances.