REMITTANCES--money sent home by relatives or friends working abroad--are the financial lifeblood of many poor countries. One of the biggest and fastest-growing markets is Africa, which received $32 billion in 2013. That is expected to grow to more than $40 billion by 2016.
It would be reasonable to assume that the fees charged by middlemen were falling, thanks to the spread of mobile banking, online transfers and other innovations. In sub-Saharan Africa, however, they have remained stubbornly high, and in some countries they have even been rising slightly, according to "Lost in Intermediation", a report by the Overseas Development Institute. [view whole blog post ]