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Moderating Poverty: The Role of Remittances from Migration in Botswana


EK Campbell

Abstract

This study examines internal labour migration of Botswana citizens and their remittance behaviour. Though international remittance is among topical global issues, it does not appear to contribute much currently towards national development in Botswana. About twenty-five years ago remittances from internal migration had no impact on poverty. This study indicates that the situation has not changed. The new economic theory of labour migration is addressed within a theoretical framework. From primary data, the level of poverty is measured and factors influencing remittances are examined. Following this is an examination of the impact of remittances on poverty. The results indicate that migrants maintain links with their home-based households through remittances in cash and goods. This is generally done in order to reduce poverty, especially in rural areas. There is considerable variation in the extent to which remittances are appreciated as a reliable means of subsistence in the household. Regression results reveal that
economic and social factors are related with remittances from migrants. However, the remittances do not have a significant moderating effect on poverty in Botswana. While female-headed households dominated among those that were transitorily poor, there is no evidence that this is the case among those that lived in extreme poverty. Policy implications are addressed.
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eISSN: 0850-3907