NAIROBI, Kenya December 17th – Kenya celebrated International Migrants Day on Friday, with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) forecasting record high remittances from the diaspora in December.
CBK saw remittance inflows of Sh36 billion in November, with the number expected to rise and hit an all-year record in December.
In addition, in the 10 months to 2021, the country recorded Sh341.3 billion sent as diaspora remittances.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, remittances from the diaspora from an estimated 3-4 million Kenyans living abroad as migrants have made a significant contribution to the growth of the country’s domestic product over the years.
Remittances now compete with other major sources of foreign exchange such as tourism, tea, and horticultural exports.
CBK announced Monday that the United States remains the largest source of remittances to Kenya, accounting for 67.3 percent of cumulative cash flows in November.
Other important source markets are Great Britain, Germany and Canada.
In addition, Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain have also been key drivers of remittances, in line with the growing numbers of Kenyans immigrating to these countries in search of work.
On the other hand, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa lead as the main African source markets for remittance inflows to Kenya.
Diaspora remittances in Kenya are primarily used to aid education, according to an analysis by global payments company WorldRemit on Friday.
“Over the past five years we have conducted several studies to understand the role of remittances in supporting household well-being. Our results show that Kenyans abroad are investing heavily in the education of the country’s future generations, ”said Sharon Kinyanjui, Director Europe Middle East and Africa Receive Markets at WorldRemit.