Kenya's Diaspora Remittances Hit Record High of Sh39.7bn in December

U.S. dollars.
16 January 2022

Nairobi Kenya — Diaspora remittances to Kenya hit an all-time high of USD 350.6 million(Sh39.7billion) in December, as Kenyans abroad sent home money for the festivities, the Central Bank of Kenya has revealed.

According to the latest CBK weekly bulletin, this represented a 9.5 per cent growth compared to the $320.1million(Sh36.2billion) sent in November.

In a similar month last year, total remittances were $299.6million(Sh33.9billion), a 17.0 percent increase which means Kenyans abroad sent more money this year despite the impact of Covid-19 continuing to be felt across economies.

"The cumulative inflows in 2021 were a record of $3,718 million from $3,094 million in 2020, a 20.2 percent increase," said CBK.

The US remains the largest source of remittances into Kenya, accounting for 63.2 percent in 2021.

Other significant source markets include the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain have also emerged as important drivers of remittances, in line with the growing number of Kenyans immigrating to these countries in search of jobs.

Global payments firm, WorldRemit in October last year projected that Kenyans living broad would send home more money as the December festive season approached.

According to the firm, the emergence of digital payments and concepts such as mobile wallets has brought more people into the financial system and greatly contributed to the steady increase in remittances inflows over the past decade.

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