Digital Money Transfer Company Azimo has announced it will waive all fees for transfers to Sierra Leone for three months to help boost remittances flow after the country was blighted by Ebola.
The London technology firm’s usual £2.99 transaction fee will not apply to transfers to the West African country in an effort to help ensure migrant workers are sending as much money as possible back home to their families.
Sierra Leone has been particularly affected by the Ebola outbreak, with almost 20% wiped off its GDP and a death toll of nearly 4,000 people as a result of the virus, the country is now struggling back onto its feet after being declared Ebola free last November.
With over 330,000 migrant workers across the world sending an estimated $70m (£50.2m) back to the country every year, transfer companies commonly take a cut of up to 10% of this in transaction fees.
Azimo announced its plans at today’s UK-Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum, which it co-hosted with UK Trade and Investment Market Associates.
Speaking at the event, Michael Kent, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Azimo, said: “For a country such as Sierra Leone, eliminating our transaction fee can have a direct impact on people’s lives at a time when they need it most.
“While foreign aid was invaluable during the crisis, the regular flow of remittance will have a greater impact in the long term. It’s important we do whatever we can to help that recovery, and lowering our fees to zero is just a part of that.
“Together with our industry partners, we hope to raise awareness of the issues facing Sierra Leone and increase the flow of funds to help restore what was once one of the fastest-growing markets in West Africa.”