Sat, May 25, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Harnessing the Asian remittance boom

The billions of dollars in remittances sent annually to developing countries can be used to turn rural areas into vibrant, economically stable communities

By Kanayo Nwanze

While remittances should and can be leveraged to bring about impressive results in poverty reduction, let us not forget that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Young people, the leaders and farmers of tomorrow, are leaving their rural communities behind in search of better opportunities. We need to turn rural areas into vibrant and economically stable communities that provide opportunities for young people to earn a living, build their capacities and start a family.

We should not ignore the enormous development potential of remittances to rural areas. Let us empower families to use their hard-earned money in ways that will help to make migration a matter of choice, not a necessity for the generations to come.

Kanayo Nwanze is president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, an international financial institution and a UN agency based in Rome.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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