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Kenyans Working Abroad Sent Home A Record Sh280 Bn in 2019

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Improved diaspora remittances have been cited as one of the reasons for the strengthening of the shilling with the remittances playing as Kenya’s biggest source of foreign exchange, ahead of other traditional sources such a tourism, tea and horticulture exports. New data now shows cash sent back home by Kenyans living abroad in 2019 hit a record high of $2.7 billion (Sh280 billion).

The amount was Sh6.3 billion more than the $2.6 billion (Sh272.3 billion) sent in 2018, a 3.7 pc growth rate, the slowest since 2015. in 2018, the remittances had grown by 40.7 pc from 2017 at the same period in the year.

A weekly bulletin by the Central Bank of Kenya released last Friday shows inflows increased to $250.3 million (Sh25.2 billion) in December, up from $218.8 million (Sh22 billion) in November with those in US accounting for half of the total cash sent. in 2018, Sh22.2 billion was sent home in November.

“The cumulative inflows in 2019 increased to $2,796 million (Sh282.3 billion) compared to $2,697 million (Sh272.3 billion) in 2018, reflecting a growth of 3.7 per cent,” said the CBK

North America accounted for 50 pc, Europe accounted for 20 pc and the Rest of the World accounted for the remaining 30 pc of the total remittances in December.

The amount, however, fell short of the World Bank’s prediction of a 5 pc growth which would have been Sh285.5 billion. ‘’The rate of growth of remittance inflows will rise by just 5 percent compared to a 39 percent growth between 2017 and 2018,’’ World Bank had said.

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