This paper investigates whether there is a link between remittance flows and protests in Africa. Studies on protests in the developing world have emphasized domestic factors in the economic and political context, but have overlooked the role remittances may play in affecting an individual’s decision to protest. This paper finds a modest relationship between remittances and protest suggesting that the cost of protesting decreases as one receives private transfers from abroad. The effect of remittances is clearer when taking the political context into account. Under politically open regimes, remittances provide an added resource for individuals to bear the cost of protesting. On the other hand, as polities become more closed individuals receiving remittances may feel discouraged to protest. The mechanisms for the diverging interaction effects between remittances and political openness on protests is a subject for further research.The source is this paper by Jesse Acevedo.
The graph is also taken from Acevedo's paper. The upward trend might be related to recent democratization in the continent, although more democratization might also be the effect of protests - more technology might have played a role as well.