Cameroon(National Times)-France and the United States (US) have been identified as the leading countries with remittances from Cameroon’s diaspora back home for investments and other family ventures.
The findings are the result of a survey which the International Organisation for Migration and Cameroon jointly conducted in the cities of Bafoussam, Douala and Yaounde on the origin and use of funds transferred from abroad.
Results of the survey were made public November 28, during a ceremony at the Ministry of External Relations (MINREX) to put the findings for public consumption and help shape Government action.
According to presentations made at the restitution ceremony, the July 30 to August 30 survey sampled 1,472 persons in the chosen cities.
Besides three financial institutions viz; Afriland First Bank, La Regional and Acep Cameroon also helped in the survey.
The findings reveal that 43 percent of the money from the diaspora goes for household consumption, while 25 percent is destined for assistance for an event.
It puts the West Region as the major beneficiary of remittances on a score of 40.8 percent, followed by the Centre Region with 22 percent.
Countries with the highest percentage of such transfers are France with a score of 31.6 percent followed by the United States on 12.2 percent. On the African continent, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the first on 2.1 percent, Ivory Coast comes second with 1.9 percent followed by Gabon on 1.6 percent.
The same study shows that a majority of those who benefit from such funding are males within the age range of 20 to 35 years. It further reveals that 27 percent of those who get such funding are without a profession, while some 14.8 percent for those with a profession.
To make meaning out of the findings, the International Organisation for Migration is drafting a programme to train the beneficiaries of such funding on how to best invest and become self-reliant. The pilot phase of the project will target 50 families. The projects will be funded by the diaspora.
Dr Seydou Boubacar the Cameroon representative of the International Organisation for Migration asserted that, “ the hope is that, these funds are better channeled into productive sectors.
However, the study reveals that, a number of recipients of such funds are making investments in trade, agriculture, skills acquisition and real estate development.