The Star (Nairobi)

3 January 2013

Kenya: Remittances From Abroad Rises 21 Percent to Sh8.3bn

Money sent to Kenya by its citizens living abroad rose 21 per cent year-on-year in November to Sh8.3 billion ($97.5 million), central bank data showed yesterday.

Remittances are a key source of foreign exchange for the economy alongside tea, horticulture and tourism.

The money sent in the first 11 months of 2012 have hit $1.07 billion, surpassing the total amount sent in full year 2011 of $891.1 million.

Remittances rose 6 per cent from October's $91.6 million, the bank said.

Kenyans living abroad typically send money home to help their families and for investment in various sectors, including real estate.

Recently, the central bank said they have also started investing in government securities targeted at them, such as infrastructure bonds and the savings development bonds.

Kenya recorded the highest foreign remittances inflow in 2008 when a record Sh48.8 billion was received.

Although the exact numbers of Kenyans in the Diaspora is not known, it is estimated that there are approximately two million Kenyans working abroad.

The Central Bank of Kenya conducts a survey on remittances data every month based on information collected from formal channels that include commercial banks and other permitted international remittances service providers in Kenya.

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