Kenyans Abroad Send Home Ksh607 Billion Amid Economic Turmoil

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Kenyans in the diaspora sent home a record Ksh607 billion for the 12 months to August 2023 from Ksh589 billion last year.

The remittances rose at a time when the country was facing tough economic times, squeezing working families and low-income households harder. 

Increased dollar flows home are also coming at a time when the country is facing a dollar shortage which has seen the local currency weaken to a record low. 

For the month of August alone, Kenyans working in foreign land sent back home a record Ksh52 billion which was a 14.1 per cent increase compared to a similar time last year. 

A photo of a terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Photo

JKIA

“The strong remittance inflows continue to support the current account and the stability of the exchange rate,” CBK noted.

Remittances have almost tripled since a similar period in 2017. According to CBK data, Kenyans living abroad sent Ksh215.4 billion home. 

Kenyans living in the United States accounted for the largest share of billions sent home. The strong performance went even into the pandemic period in 2020. 

According to CBK, Kenyans in the US accounted for 54 per cent in August 2023 beating Canada and the United Arab Emirates. 

In 2018, Kenyans living abroad sent home Ksh303 billion. The amount increased marginally to Ksh314 in 2019 and due to most world economies closing due to the pandemic, Kenyans only managed to send home Ksh345 billion in 2020.

With the United States and other developed countries reopening their borders in 2021, the remittance increased to Ksh545 billion, breaching the half-trillion mark. 

Diaspora remittances are now Kenya’s biggest source of foreign exchange according to President William Ruto. 

“When you support your families back home you are also making a valuable contribution to the economy,” Ruto urged Kenyans living in diaspora in December 2022. 

To improve the services of Kenyans living abroad, the government created the State Department for Diaspora Affairs. 

President Ruto speaking in Washington D.C when he met Kenyans living in the United States in December 2023.

PCS



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