Saudi Now Biggest Remittance Source to Kenya at 66% Outpacing U.S

Saudi Arabia has taken lead as the biggest contributor of remittances to Kenya, accounting for 66 percent of the rise in money sent by Kenyans living abroad for the first eight months of 2023.

The United States has been the biggest source of remittances to Kenya, sending 56 percent in 2023.

However, remittances from Saudi Arabia have risen sharply recently.Kenyan workers in Saudi Arabia remitted a whopping $302.26 million (Ksh.48 billion) in 2022, a big jump from the $185.01 million (Ksh.29.4 billion) they sent in 2021.

The Kenyan government is currently working on a deal with Riyadh to create a formal system for hiring Kenyan professionals to Saudi Arabia.

The first announcement for hiring 2,500 Kenyan nurses has already been made.This change in the remittances scene matches a forecast by Western Union, which expected more remittances because of the weakening Kenyan shilling, which is now worth 163 against the US dollar.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in its weekly report that remittance inflows for 2023 hit a record high of Ksh.671 billion ($4.19 billion).

This is a 4 percent increase from the Ksh.645 billion ($4.028 at current exchange rates) reported in the same period in 2022.

The growth in remittances was mainly driven by the increase in money sent by Kenyans from within Africa, which saw a remarkable rise of over 50 percent year-on-year in the 12 months to November 2023.

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Collins Ogutu

Nairobi based Digital Journalist, Corporate Communication Expert and Digital Marketer with a wealth of experience in multimedia. Accredited member of the Media Council of Kenya.

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