Remittances sent home by Ethiopians working outside the country surpassed the nation’s export revenue by close to two billion dollars during ten months of the last budget year, according to a report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
There was a 146pc rise in money sent from abroad in 2015, with 3.7 billion dollars compared to 1.5 billion dollars in 2014. The majority of the remittance came from North America.
Data from the World Bank indicates that close to 40pc of the 92.2 million Ethiopians have a relative abroad, and around 16.5 million people in the country receive 120 dollars at least five times a year.
Though there has not been a detailed study undertaken by the government so far to clearly show the number of Ethiopians living abroad, it is estimated that the number is between 590,000 and three million.
Between 2010 and 2014, 5.4pc of the country’s GDP was from remittance flow, while the IMF places the remittances as a share of GDP at 7.4pc in 2014/15.
Ethiopia ranked as one of the top ten remittance receiving countries in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015, according to the World Bank.