WASHINGTON (United States)- Algerian diaspora’s remittance of funds to their native country has reached two billion dollars in 2015, according to a study by the World Bank on the diaspora in the Middle east and North Africa (MENA), published Tuesday in Washington.
The amount accounts for 0.9% of Algeria’s GDP in 2014, according to the analysis which was designed to explore the nature of engagement of the diaspora of North Africa and the Middle East in the development of their home countries.
The remittances of funds by the Algerian diaspora are, however, lower than their counterparts from other MENA countries.
Egypt is topping the list with USD19.7 billion of remittances in 2015, followed by Lebanon (USD7.2 billion), Morocco (USD6.4 billion) and Jordan (USD3.8 billion), according to the study.
The study focused on the interest of the diaspora in contributing to the globalization of their home countries through three main channels: investment, trade and skill transfers.
Three Maghreb countries, namely Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, have a network of about 100 associations with more than 200,000 members (28 in Algeria, 26 in Morocco, 30 in Tunisia and 10 covering the whole Maghreb region).
According to the World Bank, “more than half of the identified diaspora networks are business networks or consist of students and graduates of elite schools.”
“Unlike Moroccan and Tunisian networks, Algerian diaspora professional networks seem to be less organized.”
The study stressed the importance of the initiative launched by Algerian high-profile researchers and executives, including Elias Zerhouni, the former director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.”
The Algerian high-profile network has launched the Algerian American Foundation in the United States to provide training and technical assistance to emerging medical and research centres in Algeria.
The World Bank mentioned the steps taken by Algeria to boost the role of the diaspora in the country’s economic development.
In 2013, the ministry of Post, Information and Communication Technologies and the state secretary for National Community Abroad launched an electronic portal dedicated to national skills abroad (algeriecompetences.dz).
The WB study also cited 14 commitments the Algerian government made in 2014 to serve the Algerian community abroad.
“Key components of the program included setting up of the National Agency for the Support of Youth Employment to provide financial assistance to young emigrants who have professional ties with Algeria, opening branches of Algerian banks in countries with strong Algerian communities, such as France, and facilitating access to the public markets in Algeria,” favouring know-how and financial transfers.