Diaspora remittances to Zimbabwe jumped 58 percent in 2020, reaching about 1 billion U.S. dollars, the highest ever contribution made to the local economy.
Due to the improved remittances inflows, Zimbabwe managed to record a current account surplus, state-run Herald newspaper said on Tuesday.
The development has also helped the country to cover gaps left by trade disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank, in its latest Zimbabwe Economic Update, said remittances contributed to the country’s resilience to global trade shocks.
“Despite trade disruptions and the sharp decline in global economic activity caused by the pandemic, Zimbabwe’s current account remained in surplus at 5.3 percent in 2020,” said the World Bank.
“A key driver of the surplus was remittances in 2020, which saw a growth of 58 percent. The increase in formal remittances may reflect the shift to greater use of official channels for remittance delivery due to the pandemic,” it said.
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube recently said diaspora remittances had overtaken foreign aid in the amount of money being contributed to the country’s economy.
Zimbabwe had over the years seen an increase in the number of remittances from the diaspora.
It is estimated that between 2.5 and 3 million Zimbabweans live in other countries, with neighboring South African being the most popular destination.