n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Remittances, mobile phones and informality : insights from Cameroon

Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346



Research on mobile phones abound. However, the use of the mobile phone as an informal value transfer mechanism has received little attention. This paper attempts to fill this lacuna in academic literature by focusing on the 'why' and 'how' of 'airtime remittances' in Cameroon. The paper shows that remittance mechanisms are embedded in social relations, and sheds light on the social meaning of informal remittance sending practices. It argues that although formal and informal remittance channels may be conceptually mutually exclusive, in practice they are interrelated. Depending on the local context, formal and informal remittance mechanisms may be mutually reinforcing.

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