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Sending back money to Africa, is it good for your finances ?

Following a micro-trottoir conducted in the town of Marsa in Malta by the African Media Malta's team, it emerged that many Africans living and working in the island regularly send money to their families in Africa. This gesture is widespread and considered cultural, pointing out the importance of family in the lives of Africans, even though not all interviewees agreed. After managing to interview four migrants, our team learned that family tradition and the need for financial support are the drive behind the practice.

We interviewed Mr.Johnson, the owner of a grocery shop in Marsa

A genuine culture of family solidarity is omnipresent, but not all diaspora members agree

For many Africans, the family is at the heart of their existence and occupies a central place in their lives. Sending money to family in Africa is seen as a moral duty, a gesture of solidarity and responsibility towards loved ones back home.

But not everyone agrees, Tina, our respondent from Nigeria refutes the practice. For her, it has turned to rip off, as many family members sit at home and wait for the money coming from Europe: “ I need to live well here in Europe,” she said,  “because that money we send there is not coming back. I need my life here to be good as well. I want to enjoy my money”.

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A real need for financial assistance

For the other respondents,  there was a consensus. They agree that apart from the cultural aspect, sending money is often motivated by the crucial need to provide financial support to family members who may be facing recurring economic difficulties. This practice plays an essential role in the financial equilibrium of families in Africa, helping to alleviate certain basic needs and supporting families for others, such as helping to invest, pay for a family member's schooling, support a wedding, etc... 

A real economic and social impact

Money sent by Africans to their families in Africa has a significant impact on the local economy also, contributing to the consumption and development of certain regions. On a social level, this financial solidarity strengthens family ties and enables close relationships to be maintained despite geographical distance, but not only that: the status of families present in Africa changes, as it is seen as a source of pride to receive money from a family member present outside the continent, so the family present commands more respect.

It was challenging to secure the interviews as many preferred not to speak, and two requested that their faces be hidden.

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