HDRO Conference Room
17 October 2008
Time: 10:30 – 12:00 p.m.
This seminar will present results from a new volume of case studies on migration, remittances and poverty in West Africa. The first part of the volume is devoted to qualitative evidence on rural-to-urban migration by young individuals, and on the impact of migration on the livelihood of those who migrate and those who stay behind. A detailed life story of Paul, a youngster in Burkina Faso who migrated from his village to the capital city of Ouagadougou, is provided. This story shows the diversity of activities and sources of livelihoods that enable the poor to survive, including migration, as well as their creativity. The volume also includes quantitative studies of Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana and Senegal on the impact of remittances (both domestic and international) on poverty, and one additional study based on data from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana on the factors that affect remittance decisions.
The analysis suggests that remittances represent an important source of income for many households, and that the impact of changes in remittances due to shocks (such as a conflict) can be large, at least for those households who do benefit from remittances. But the findings also suggest that while the volume of international remittances may be high, a lower share of international remittances is often likely to benefit the poor than is the case for domestic remittances, which also means that the overall impact of remittances on poverty reduction may be lower than expected.
About the Speaker
Quentin Wodon is Lead Poverty Specialist for the Africa Region at the World Bank and is soon joining the World Bank’s Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics as its Adviser and Program Manager.
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