Diaspora remittances rose by KES 1.02 billion ($8.5 million) to KES 38.5 billion($318 million) in September, from KES 37.5 billion (309.8 million) during a similar month last year, representing a 2.6 per cent increase.“The cumulative inflows for the 12 months to September 2022 totaled (KES 484.3 billion) USD 4,001 million compared to (KES 427.3 billion) USD 3,530 million in the same period in 2021, an increase of f3.3 percent,” Data from CBK showed.
Money sent home from countries such as US and Canada increased from KES 37.59 billion ($310.5 million) in August to KES 38.49 billion ($318 million) in September.
In the last six months, Kenya’s diaspora remittances have been dropping, attributed to high inflation in America and Europe.
The last time the country recorded an increase in remittances was in March 2022, when Kenyans living abroad sent home KES 42.05 billion, a 15.5 per cent growth compared to KES 36.7 billion sent in February.“The strong remittance inflows continue to support the current account and the foreign exchange market. The US remains the largest source of remittances into Kenya, accounting for 59 per cent in September 2022,” CBK says.
While diaspora remittances help boost the country’s forex reserves, they also support many livelihoods.
An analysis by WorldRemit showed education, healthcare, and household needs are the biggest beneficiaries of remittances in the country, noting that Kenya was among the top 3-Africa countries leading in remittance inflows with the likes of Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Digitization remains a key driver for the growth of remittance services, according to WorldRemit, which has partnered with local banks, allowing direct sending of money to accounts and M-pesa.