The Central Bank of Kenya(CBK) diaspora remittances data has revealed that Kenyans abroad sent home Ksh30.5 billion ($278.4 million) in the month of January 2021 alone.
The CBK website defines remittance as money sent by a person in a foreign land to his or her home country. The CBK now recognises remittance inflows as an important contributor to the country’s economy.
The CBK noted that the remittances received last month were higher by seven point three percent compared to those received in January 2020. A total of Ksh28.5 billion was received during that period.
A total of Ksh342.4 billion was received for the twelve months ending in January this year. This marks a ten point eight percent increase compared to the Ksh309.2 billion received for the twelve months ending in January 2020.
The corona virus pandemic caused a negative economic effect especially in North America, Europe and Asia. This did not stop Kenyans abroad from sending money home and therefore inflows picked up strongly after a decline in April 2020.
The CBK revealed that the growth of remittances is greatly supported by financial innovations that provided Kenyans in the diaspora with more convenient ways to transact money.
The CBK is collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kenya National Bureau of Statics (KNBS) in conducting a Diaspora Remittances survey with the aim of collecting valuable information that will help in economic growth.
“The vital information includes; the efficiency and cost of alternative remittance channels, the difficulties encountered in remitting cash or non-cash transfers, the availability of information to Kenyans in the diaspora about investment opportunities in Kenya and the usage of remittances received,” the CBK stated.
According to statistics from KNBS, 4 million Kenyans live in the diaspora and this number is steadily rising.
Kenyans have opted to go abroad in search of better opportunities. The illegal immigration by Kenyans to western countries continue to rise daily. Many more Kenyans continue to apply for visas to different Western countries and this has been attributed mainly by lack of jobs in the country.
- . . .