Kenyans living abroad sent home Ksh.34 billion in May

State bodies holding back over Ksh.200b of unclaimed assets

Kenyans living and working abroad sent home a record high Ksh.34 billion in May this year, the highest inflows ever sent in a single month, defying the economic fall-out occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

The inflows were higher by 23.3 percent compared to Ksh.27.8 billion that was received in May last year.

In 12 months to May 2021, remittances increased by 19.5 percent to Ksh.366.5 billion compared to Ksh.301.8 in the previous year.

The United States remains Kenya’s leading source for remittances having contributed 57.8 percent of May inflows or an equivalent Ksh.19.7 billion

Total remittances from North America were Ksh.20.9 billion (US$193.6 million) to beat all other regions as the leading source market for Kenya’s remittance flows.

Remittances from Europe totaled to Ksh.7.1 billion (US$65.9 million) with flows from the United Kingdom leading the way at Ksh.3.7 billion (US$34.6 million).

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Diaspora flows from Asia meanwhile totaled to Ksh.3.5 billion (US$32.7 million) beating remittances from Africa and the rest of the world which stood at Ksh.1.5 billion (US$13.5 million) and Ksh.1.1 billion (US$10.2 million) respectively.

In four months to April this year, however, Kenyans living and working abroad sent home Ksh.122.69 billion.

CBK had at the onset of the pandemic last year tipped diaspora remittances to dip but this was defied by economies striking a balance between economic activities and lowering infections.

Remittances have been boosted by recoveries in major economies as they ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations and begin to ease containment measures.

The ease of sending money is also another factor, especially mobile transfer where recipients receive the cash directly on their mobile phones.

The continued growth also defies the fact that remittance costs for many African countries remain high when compared to United Nations’ recommendations that remittance costs should not exceed three percent of total value of money being send.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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