Diaspora remittances hit new Ksh.34 billion monthly record in May


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In Summary

  • The remittances during the month were 22.3 per cent higher than the Ksh.27.8 billion ($258.2 million) received in May 2020.
  • Cumulatively, remittances over the last 12 months to May 2021 have increased by 19.5 per cent to Ksh.366.5 billion ($3.4 billion) in contrast to Ksh.301.8 billion ($2.8 billion) previously.
  • The US continues to be Kenya’s leading source for remittances having contributed to 57.8 per cent of May flows or an equivalent Ksh.19.7 billion ($182.6 million).

Kenyans abroad sent home a record Ksh.34 billion ($315.8 million) in May, the highest level of remittances received in a single month ever.

The remittances during the month were 22.3 per cent higher than the Ksh.27.8 billion ($258.2 million) received in May 2020.

Cumulatively, remittances over the last 12 months to May 2021 have increased by 19.5 per cent to Ksh.366.5 billion ($3.4 billion) in contrast to Ksh.301.8 billion ($2.8 billion) previously.

The US continues to be Kenya’s leading source for remittances having contributed to 57.8 per cent of May flows or an equivalent Ksh.19.7 billion ($182.6 million).

Total remittances from North America totaled Ksh.20.9 billion ($193.6 million) to beat all other regions as the leading source market for Kenya’s remittance flows.

Remittances from Europe totaled to Ksh.7.1 billion ($65.9 million) with flows from the United Kingdom leading the way at Ksh.3.7 billion ($34.6 million).

Diaspora flows from Asia meanwhile totaled to Ksh.3.5 billion ($32.7 million) beating remittances from Africa and the rest of the world which stood at Ksh.1.5 billion ($13.5 million) and Ksh.1.1 billion ($10.2 million) respectively.

The diaspora remittances continue to be integral to Kenya’s foreign currency flows helping the country weather the disruption caused on other FX sources such as tourism following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To strengthen the role played by the flows and boost the remittances further, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) carried out the first ever diaspora remittances survey in the country between February and March this year.

In 2020, Kenyans abroad sent back Ksh.334.2 billion ($3.1 billion) as remittances marking a 10.7 per cent increase from 2019.

“This remarkable growth of remittances has been supported by financial innovations that provided Kenyans in the diaspora more convenient channels for their transactions,” the CBK stated.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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