Episode 4: Critical next steps to achieving migrant remittances SDG Target 10.C - a conversation with Leon Isaacs ("Mr Remittances")


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Hello and welcome to the Migration & Diaspora Podcast, a podcast where we discuss all things related to migration, with me your host, Loksan Harley.

I was very excited to be joined for today's episode by Leon Isaacs, CEO of Developing Markets Associates (DMA), which is a specialist international development company that he founded in 2007. Leon is a seasoned expert and business leader in the payments and international development fields with a particular expertise in migrant remittances. During the course of his 30-year career, Leon was Managing Director of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, he has served as a member of the UK government's Remittances Task Force, and he is an observer to the G20 Consultative Committee of the Private-Public Sector Partnership on Remittances. Leon has spoken at and chaired numerous international conferences on remittances including at the World Bank, the United Nations and the G8. He has also been involved in two successful start-up remittance businesses. He is an economist by training and currently based in France - and he joined us from his home in sunny Provence (of which I was very jealous).

Leon is someone I very respectfully refer to as "Mr Remittances". He really lives and breathes the topic. He's also one of the best communicators I know, with an incredible ability to explain technical issues in an accessible and engaging way. His blend of public and private sector experiences also gives him a unique and very practical perspective. I was excited to get him on the show because remittances are such a critical aspect of how migration and how migrants can contribute to development. Consciousness of remittances and their importance has grown in recent years, so much so that they have their dedicated SDG Target 10.C, which is to reduce to less than 3% transaction costs of migrant remittances.

In our wide-ranging conversation, we talk about both the big picture and learnings from Leon and DMA's recent work, including how COVID has impacted remittances, the key remittances challenges facing small and fragile states, diaspora investment, and some of the impacts of new technology. We close with Leon's take on the three things we need to focus on in order to achieve Target 10.C.

And of course, we managed to slip in a bit of banter about football, since Leon is a passionate fan of Watford FC (well, no one is perfect!).

Thank you very much for tuning in and we hope you enjoy the interview.

Useful links

DMA: https://www.global-dma.com/meet-the-team

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leonisaacs/


Twitter: @DMA_tweet @leon_dma

SDG 10: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal10

Episode 2 on diaspora engagement: https://www.loksanharley.com/podcast/episode/f9e3585d/episode-2-doing-diaspora-lessons-learned-from-dr-martin-russells-diaspora-engagement-work-worldwide

Thanks for listening! Head on over to loksanharley.com/podcast, where you can subscribe to the mailing list and get in touch!

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