Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings from nationals working abroad, particularly in the Middle East, have reached US$1.2billion, making it the second biggest foreign exchange earner after tourism.
Dr. Adam Mugume, the Executive Director of Research at the Bank of Uganda, noted that more than half of the remittances came from middle east countries. The Central bank noted that there was a 4.1 percent increase in remittances in 2018 compared to 2017.
The figure could be higher because of the prevalence of so many unrecorded informal transfers. BoU says that available data was obtained from registered money transfer agencies.
Mugume observed that remittances from Europe, North America, Southern Africa and South Sudan, the traditional source countries, remain weak.
According to the Bank of Uganda, the data is based on figures reported by money transfer operations in the first 11 months of 2018 and estimates for December which reflected an improvement of 4.1 per cent compared to 2017.
The Central Bank estimates that December alone fetched about UGX480b in remittances. BOU survey done in 2018 to establish the total value of transfers into the country revealed that Uganda earned UGX4.3 trillion shillings in 2017.
BOU revealed that remittances from the middle east have gained the most compared to Europe, North America, southern Africa and South Sudan.
By Innocent Kayiza