Kenyans abroad sent home Ksh.30.5B in January: CBK

Kenyans abroad sent home Ksh.30.5 billion ($278.4 million) last month marking a continued flow in diaspora remittances at the start of the year.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the sum represents a 7.3 per cent rise in the dollar flows which stood at a lower Ksh.28.4 billion ($259.4 million) in January of 2019.

The strengthened flows mirror a continuation of greater diaspora support as the country’s economy continues to battle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Kenyans in the diaspora sent home a record Ksh.341 billion or an equivalent Ksh.932 million shillings everyday.

The growth in remittances from Ksh.308 billion in 2019 was in defiance of a tough operating environment across the globe as occasioned by the pandemic upsetting projections of a steep fall in the dollar flows.

The remittances peaked at their highest during the month of December when they stood at Ksh.32.9 billion or an equivalent Ksh.1.1 billion daily.

“This remarkable growth of remittances has been supported by financial innovations that provided Kenyans in the diaspora more convenient channels for their transactions,” the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said last month.

The remittances have been integral to not just supporting household incomes but also anchoring government foreign exchange earnings amidst volatility which has seen receipts from avenues such as tourism slack.

In recognition of the important role of remittances, the CBK is conducting a remittances survey between this month and March in view of collecting key information to guide policy formulation.

On its part, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has set its sights on the flows to deepen funding to domestic capital markets.