Accra, Ghana… Education is highly cherished among Ghanaian families, with many parents working extra hard to ensure that their children get into the best schools and colleges. Indeed, in regions like Kasoa, a peri-urban town in central Ghana, 88% of all children are enrolled in schools, with about 83% of households having at least one child in a private school, where tuition is 54% more than in government schools1.
This is despite working with an average annual household income of 33,937 cedis ($4,268 USD)2, which forces them to squeeze their often-constrained budgets to cover the ever-increasing school costs, including tuition fees, uniforms and books. At 13.1%, the share of household income spent on education by Ghanaian families is the world’s largest3. It is unsurprising, therefore, that many families count on their relatives abroad to supplement their education budgets.
Every year, Ghana receives about $4.3 billion USD in personal remittances from countries such as the USA, Germany, the UAE and the United Kingdom, amongst others4. Of this amount, the World Bank shows, a vast majority is spent on education, with households that receive remittances increasing their spending on education by as much as 33%. A separate study investigating the effects of remittances on investment in education in Ghana found that remittances – particularly international remittances — significantly increase the probability of families enrolling their children in primary and secondary schools7. As such, remittance inflows increase household liquidity leading to more school hours for children6.
It is with regard to this central role of remittances in giving Ghanaian children a proper education that WorldRemit has made investments that increase the access to secure money transfer services even in the remotest parts of the country.
This has been achieved through partnerships with banks and telecommunication companies, the latter facilitating instant transfers into the recipients’ mobile money wallets. Such partnerships quicken transactions from anywhere in the world such that over 90 percent of all WorldRemit transactions are complete within minutes.
The different withdrawal options allow for convenience in collection with the sender being allowed to select the one that best works for their recipient. This has been especially important during the Covid pandemic, where we have sustained mobile transactions when people could not access physical withdrawal centers owing to lockdowns and limitation of movement measures.
Equally important, is that WorldRemit strives to keep transaction costs minimal, and that is why we are always upfront with the rates and fees incurred in transactions, eliminating situations where recipients collect lower amounts than the sender intended. We understand that every cedi counts, especially during the currently difficult economic times, and we strive to keep our charges reasonable.
Meanwhile, we are continually upgrading our technologies to improve on our transaction time, and effectively transaction costs, benefits which ultimately get to such beneficiaries as the students in Kasoa, whose schooling is driven by remittances. In this humble way, we see WorldRemit as a critical player in the socio-economic transformation of Ghana, and, by extension, the whole world.
By Munashe Mbavarira (email@example.com)