Business News of Tuesday, 11 December 2012
The African Development Bank Group (ADB) on Tuesday called for submission of proposals for the Migration and Development Fund (MDF).
A press release from the African Development Bank, copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday, said the award ranges from 350,000 EUR to 500,000 EUR per project.
The statement said: “We invite not-for-profit organizations, such as migrant associations and NGOs working on migration and development related activities, as well as for profit entities such as financial institutions, money transfer operators, business development companies, etc, from West Africa to apply”.
It said the programme would finance new and innovative ways to reduce the costs of remittances in the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
It said other countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region would be considered on a case by case basis.
The statement said: “This call for proposals aims to strengthen and support the development of new and innovative financial products and services, which reduce the high cost of money transfers by migrants and diversifies the supply of existing financial solutions to meet the expectations of both migrants and their families in the countries of origin”.
It cited examples of such projects as: providing support for the launching of innovative pilot transfer operations using Information and Communication Technologies such as mobile telephones, electronic banking and payment cards.
The statement said: “Providing financial and/or institutional support for: the introduction of pilot remittance transfer operations involving MFIs; incentives for the regrouping of other complementary operators (telephony, banks, MFIs and local agents), and increased use of the banking system through the introduction of insurance (health, repatriation of remains, unemployment transfers), real estate and savings enhancement products”.
It also gave other examples as health cost sharing projects like health insurance schemes, Health Maintenance Organizations and support novel approaches to improve access to banking services for migrants in their home and destination countries such as non-resident bank accounts.
The statement said in addition to these were the non-bank financial products and services and collective investment schemes by migrant associations
It invite all interested applicants to submit their proposals online latest by February 28th, 2013.
According to the release, the MDF is a joint initiative of the ADB, the French Ministry of the Interior, Overseas, Local Authorities and Immigration, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the United States Agency for International Development.
It said the Fund aims to promote and support local initiatives and those from the Diaspora to reduce the costs of transfers, optimizing the use of the resources transferred, and supporting local development in migrant home countries.