Friday, January 26, 2018

Diaspora: Who is sending money to Uganda

The next time Ugandans on FBLight, FBzero, SocialBundles, WhatsApp and Twitter go attacking and abusing us who left that #SHITHOLE country saying we all sweep streets and clean toilets, remember that these jobs must be very well paying.  Look who is sending you money to keep your SHITHEAD president in power.

Here also is where Ugandans in diaspora could bring down the regime.  Unfortunately, we are not interested in taking down President Yoweri Museveni since most of you seem to be contented with your SHITTY Lives in your Pit Latrines which really is worse than a SHITHOLE for otherwise Museveni would not have been so proud.  By the time he is done, you will indeed remember that he is very proud of what he has turned the country into.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada


By Henry Mutebe

In this piece, I continue our simple lessons on understanding something about money, economics, macro-policy and politics. In today’s piece I will try to walk you through some vital statistics to understand where Uganda gest its money and which people take the most money from Uganda in what is called ‘Remittances’. By understanding these figures, you will have an appreciation of which countries are important to us and in what ways they are. I will use a conversational/informal style to walk you through this journey. I hope you love it.

I will explain the key terms first. Remittances are funds/money or other assets that people living in a foreign country send back to their home countries. These people could be employed as workers in that country or businessmen and women in that country. They could also be unemployed but getting some welfare or support to help them with living costs.

This money is tracked through transactions made in Banks and other money transfer agencies entities. However, some times, money is transferred illegally and therefore may be not tracked or included in these figures. The World Bank compiles this information through its different data infrastructure most of which is linked to central Banks in the different countries. 

So where do start from? Okay. Globally, the World Bank reports that an estimated $574 billion (USD) was sent by migrants or people living in foreign countries, back to their home countries. They however add than this was a decrease from 2015’s volume by 1% which was $581 billion.

A total US$574 billion was sent from one country to another. Of this how much did your Uganda get? Well not much, but also, not so little. Uganda got about US$1.2 billion of that money from the different countries. Our people living in different countries sent back the equivalent of 4.3 trillion Uganda shillings. Now, this is a lot of money.

But don’t celebrate yet. Foreigners in Uganda, also managed to get some good money from Uganda. Foreigners in Uganda managed to send US$191 million. This about 682 Billion Uganda shillings. Good deal, right? We received 4.3 trillion from Ugandans living abroad and lost UGx 682 Billion to foreigners working or living in Uganda.

So lets track money and see where it came from or who took our money in 2016.
Let me start with the good news. These are the countries where we received the highest amount of money in 2016. Ugandans living in these countries sent us the following amounts.
United Kingdom - US$275 million
South Sudan - US$202,000,000.
Rwanda- $180,000,000
United States - $98,000,000
Kenya -$57,000,000
Canada- $56,000,000
Tanzania- $34,000,000
Sweden - $17,000,000
South Africa - $16,000,000
Australia- $14,000,000
Germany- $9,000,000
Denmark - $7,000,000
Netherlands -US$6,000,000
Malaysia - US$6,000,000
D. R Congo -US$5,000,000
Norway - US$5,000,000
Botswana - US$4,000,000
Switzerland - US$4,000,000
Italy -  US$4,000,000
Sudan - US$3,000,000
Eritrea - US$3,000,000
France - US$2,000,000
India - US$2,000,000
Ireland - US$2,000,000
Burundi - US$1,000,000.

The rest of the countries sent us remittances the equivalent of US$1 million or less. Note that the figure for South Sudan could be more. While World Bank put it at US$202 Million, Bank of Uganda puts it at US$283 million. The challenge with South Sudan is that the insecurity and lack of proper financial institutions makes its hard for some people to send money through formal channels. Many Ugandans travel with their money in cash. Its therefore hard to track and incorporate in the official statistics. It could be a lot more than is reported.

Now you know where most of the money Ugandans sent back home came from in 2016. So let’s go to explore the second part. Who took money from us? Which nationalists are sending our money to their countries the most? Here is the list of which countries that took the most money from us in 2016.

Kenya -  US$95 Million
Rwanda - US$31 million
Tanzania - US$29 million
India - US$15,000,000
France - US$3,000,000
United States - US$2,000,000
Burundi - US$2,000,000
Pakistan - US$2,000,000
China - US$2,000,000
Sudan - US$1,000,000
Italy - US$1,000,000
United Kingdom - US$1,000,000

There you go. There are a couple of other countries that got less than US$1 million from Uganda in remittances. These include Malawi, Ivory Coast, Japan, Denmark, Belgium, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Canada, South Korea, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Greece, DRC among others.

However, the regional relationships are interesting to ponder about. Consider the following for example.  While we received $ 257 million from the UK, they only got less than US$1 million from us, we our boys and girls there, sent us 257 million. This is a very significant relation. However, our neighbours Kenya got even more. Kenya received 585 million from the UK.

 in remittances from Kenya, they sucked a whopping US$95 billion from Uganda. So Kenyans are doing a lot of business in Uganda. They are benefiting from us more. We are importing a lot of stuff from Kenya and sending less. Also, we got $ 180 million from Rwanda while they got 31 billion from us.

Now this is also interesting. Uganda received US$239.56 Million from South Sudan in 2016.There is no good and available data to show much South Sudan gets from Uganda but it is less than 1 million USD. This is the country that gives us the best business.

You amy also be interested to note that while Rwanda seems a silent partner, we actually get more from Rwanda than Kenya. Rwanda takes less money from us than Kenya. Rwanda gets most of its money from Democratic Republic of Congo. It gets $ 56 billion while Congo gets less than US$ 1 million from it (Rwanda).

Uganda is Rwanda’s second biggest partner in remittances after DR Congo. More Ugandans living in Rwanda send money to Uganda than Rwandans living in Uganda sent money back to Rwanda. We are then followed by Burundi which gave Rwanda US$21 million in 2016.  We got US$34 million from Tanzania while Tanzania got US$29 million from us.

Away from here, there are some notable countries you may be interested to note. While we get less than 2 million from India, Indians in Uganda take back 15 million from our economy.

Other interesting relationships are between Nigeria and the UK. Nigerians sent US$3.7 Billion (not million, but billion) from UK to Nigeria. Nigerians send more money to Africa from the UK than any other country in the world. In Africa, they are followed by Kenyans (US$585 million), Ugandans and South Africans in the fourth place who send US$202 Million from UK to SA.

 Outside Africa, Indians come second to Nigerians in sending from the UK. In 2016, Indians sent US$ 3.5 billion back home. This amount is more than all the money sent from the UK by Chinese, USA, and France and Canada combined. This is how serious Indians and Nigerians are in the UK.

So, if you look at those figures, and you are a policy maker, you start to understand the most important countries to you. United Kingdom, South Sudan, United States, Rwanda, Canada, Kenya, Tanzania, Sweden, South Africa, in that order emerges as very strategic partners.  It is in your interest as a policy maker to ensure that you South Sudan is secure, Rwanda and Uganda continue to have a good relationship, it’s in your interest to ensure Kenya is stable, and that you have a good relationship with the rest of the other partners.

Aside from this, countries like the United States, European Union, China, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Gulf countries, et cetera offer in excess of US$2 billion in development Assistance. So if you are making any decisions, you know how important each country is to you and your foreign policy has to factor in the contribution of all these countries to the stability and economic growth of your country.

Some countries don’t share their data so it’s hard to know the figures from all the other countries. However, these stats should give you an idea of who is important to us, and who is benefiting from us more. I hope you have a good idea what shapes our relationships and interests in other countries.

End Notes

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