African Institute for Remittances is an initiative of the African Union Commission and its member states in collaboration with the World Bank and selected development partners (The European Commission, African Development Bank and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The AIR is anchored within the African Union Commission. The African Institute for Remittances (AIR) was launched in on 28th November, 2014 and it became operational on 1st October 2015
The institute shall engage-inter alia-in the following activities:
- Build the capacities of AU Member States remittance senders and recipients and other stakeholders to develop and implement concrete strategies and operational instruments to leverage remittances as development tools for poverty reduction;
- Provide technical assistance to government institutes (Central Banks, Ministries, Financial and non-financial institutions);
- Prepare, together with MS and other partners, common ground Africa-wide policies on remittances and enhance harmonisation of these policies;
- Conduct empirical research to address the main market inefficiencies and to explore and disseminate best practices;
- Conduct policy research and dialogue on how remittances can better contribute for development;
- Foster effective ways of networking, coordination and cooperation among MS and stakeholders to address remittances issues in a more strategic and programmatic manner;
- Disseminate data, research findings and best practices through, conferences and meetings with policy makers;
- Manage the remittances price database, Send Money Africa(SMA).
- Improve the statistical measurement, compiling and reporting capabilities of Member States on remittances data;
- Promote appropriate changes to the legal and regulatory frameworks for remittances, payment and settlement systems as well as use of innovative technology so as to promote greater competition and efficiency, resulting in reductions of transfer costs;
- Leverage the potential impact of remittances on social and economic development of Member States, as well as promoting financial inclusion.
The AIR mission is “to work exclusively in areas of remittances, enhancing market competition to make remittance transfers to and within Africa, cheaper, safer, faster and easier so as to maximise their impact on the economic and social development of African Countries”.