NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20-Kenyans abroad sent home Sh280 billion last year, a 3.7 percent rise compared to Sh269.7 billion dispatched in 2018.
Data from the Central Bank of Kenya shows that majority reside in the United States, who contributed a huge chunk compared to the rest staying in different parts of the world.
“Kenyans staying in the US accounted for half of the total cash sent while those in North America, Europe and the Rest of the World accounted for 50 percent, 20 percent, and 30 percent, respectively, of the total remittances in December,” reads the report seen by Capital FM News.
However, the results failed to reflect the projection of the World Bank Group of Kenya’s diaspora remittances, hitting Sh286 billion, despite slow growth since 2015.
“The rate of growth of remittance inflows will rise by just 5 percent compared to a 39 percent growth between 2017 and 2018,’’ World Bank said in December 2019.
Remittances in Kenya has become the biggest source of foreign exchange, with tourism, tea, coffee, and horticultural exports, following in second, third, fourth and fifth position respectively.
Kenya Diaspora Alliance project that there will be an increase in flows by 2022 to hit Sh500 billion.
The banks’ regulator weekly bulletin also highlights that the Kenya shilling remained stable against other international and regional currencies.
“The Kenya shilling was exchanged at Sh101.38 per US Dollar on January 16, compared to Sh101.47 on January 9,” says CBK.
Meanwhile, the money market was liquid during the previous week that ended January 16, which reflected government payments with more than offset tax remittances.
Commercial banks excess reserves stood at Sh22.5 billion in relation to the 5.25 percent cash reserves required under the review period.
CBK further said that the average number of interbank deals fell from 28 to 25 during the week while the value traded declined to Sh13.7 billion from Sh16.9 billion in the previous week.