27 December 2012

Kenya's Diaspora Remittances Soar

Nairobi — The year 2012 has witnessed a drastic increase in the amount of remittances from Kenyans in the diaspora.

The Central Bank of Kenya Report has revealed a 12 per cent leap in the remittances from $332 billion last year to $372 billion to various developing countries with Kenya topping the list in amounts netted.

The report also revealed a sharp increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries over the same period.

In Kenya, most of those in the diaspora have been remitting money to their families, friends or business partners mostly for investment in real estate and the general property sector.

"We note a marked increase in the amounts remitted by Kenyan in the diaspora. The good news is that this increase can also be said about other developing countries. It means more and more people in the diaspora have developed the confidence to invest at home," read the CBK Annual Report in part.

According to the report, the remittances stood at $94.82 million as of August this year, representing a 19 per cent rise compared to the $92.74 realized over the same period the previous year.

According to CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung'u, the drastic increase could be attributed to the buoyant stock market in Kenya and the fast growing property market in the country.

"We can also attribute this growth to enhanced data collection by the Central Bank of Kenya," said Prof. Ndung'u.

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