The Congolese diaspora and the politics of remittances

Claude Sumata, Jeffrey H. Cohen

Abstract

Economic turmoil and war constitute the main engines fuelling migration in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1980. The development of migration is accompanied by remittance transfers that impact on the country. The most common use of remittances are to satisfy basic needs and fund specific family events that can include buying land, house construction and opening businesses along with consumption (education, health…). The direct transfer of material goods, such as cars and medical & IT materials, also plays a major role. While most remittances are not used to cover investments; funding education and family wellbeing can support growth and development.

Keywords

Diaspora; migrants; remittances; foreign direct investment; DRC

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