REMITTANCES

Kenyans sent home Sh34bn in September – CBK

Cumulative inflows for the 12 months to September totaled $3.53 billion.

In Summary

•Month-on-month numbers however reflect a slight drop from August when remittances totaled $312.9 million (Sh43.8 billion), declining marginally by one per cent.

•The US continued to dominate as the leading source of inflows.

A cashier at a local forex counts dollars and shillings/
A cashier at a local forex counts dollars and shillings/
Image: FREDRICK OMONDI

Diaspora remittances to Kenya slightly dropped in the month of September.

Kenyans living and working abroad sent home $309.8 million (Sh34.4 billion) in September, with the US dominating as the leading source of inflows.

Month-on-month numbers however reflect a slight drop from August when remittances totaled $312.9 million (Sh43.8 billion), declining marginally by one per cent.

In a similar month last year, total remittances were $260.7 million (Sh28.9 billion) meaning Kenyans abroad sent more money this year despite the impact of Covid-19 continuing to be felt across economies.

The cumulative inflows for the 12 months to September 2021 totaled $3.53 billion (Sh392.3 billion), a 19 per cent increase compared to $2.96 billion (Sh329.8 billion) same period previous year.

“The United States remains the largest source of remittances into Kenya, accounting for 61.8 per cent in September 2021,” CBK notes in its latest bulletin.

Other significant source markets include the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain have also emerged as important drivers of remittances, in line with the growing number of Kenyans immigrating to these countries in search of jobs.

Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa lead as the top African source markets for remittance inflows into Kenya.

Remittances not only represent an important source of forex but also support many livelihoods.

Education, healthcare, and household needs are the main uses of remittances in Kenya, according to global payments company, WorldRemit, indicates, sectors that tend to have a multiplier effect on development.

Education is likely to remain a key use of remittances, and this will only increase with the packed school calendar post-covid,” said Sharon Kinyanjui, Director Europe, Middle East, and Africa Receive Markets at WorldRemit.

There are an estimated four million Kenyans living and working abroad, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, with remittances currently being among highest foreign exchange earners apart from tea, coffee and tourism.