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As defined by Viviana Zelizer, remittance payments as consisting of:

"Money and other resources acquired by migrants at their destinations and sent back to their home communities as support for persons and activities. Remittances most often go to family members who have stayed behind or returned but sometimes also support more distant connections, such as neighbors, priests and politicians."

Although remittance payments are common in many migrant communities, they are statistically a major source of income for many sub-Saharan African countries. Not only are they a crucial form of finacial support for the home community, but they 'ensure an inter-generational link between migrants and home-place.'

Zelizer also points out that 'Sending remittance money is not like sending a charitable check for a good cause. These are negotiated, two-way exchanges that build on residues of the past and expectations of the future.'


Aderanti Adepoju. Current African Issues: Migration in sub-Saharan africa. Nordic African Institute, 2008

Viviana A. Zelizer. Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy. Princeton University Press, 2014