Diaspora inflows hit Sh274 billion

A currency dealer counts Kenya shillings at a money exchange counter in Nairobi/FILE
A currency dealer counts Kenya shillings at a money exchange counter in Nairobi/FILE

Kenyans in the diaspora sent home $244 million (Sh24.82 billion) last month, data by the Central Bank has shown. This was 10.75 per cent more that remittance reported in November at Sh22.41 billion.

“North America, Europe and the rest of the world accounted for 45 percent, 32 percent and 23 percent, respectively, of the total remittances in December 2018,” CBK said in their weekly bulletin.

Although remittances have in the past gone up significantly in December compared to the the other 11 months of the year CBK data shows foreign cash inflows hit the highest point in June and May at Sh27.11 billion and Sh25.81 billion respectively.

The lowest recorded diaspora inflows in 2018 were in September when Kenyans living abroad sent home Sh20.89 billion.

The cumulative foreign cash inflows for 2018 grew 39 per cent to Sh274.37 billion compared to Sh198.07 billion in 2017.

The growth has been driven by a better global economic outlook and the tax amnesty on remittance imposed by the Kenya Revenue Authority last year.

Diaspora inflows have stood as Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner since 2015.