Diaspora sends home Sh17.18bn in August

Thursday October 12 2017

 The Central Bank of Kenya in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Central Bank of Kenya in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By BRIAN NGUGI
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Kenyans working abroad kept cash remittances steady with the money sent home growing 9.26 per cent in August compared to a month earlier.

Monthly data released by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that diaspora remittances reached $166.4 million (about Sh17.18 billion) in August compared to $152.3 million (about Sh15.72 billion) in July.

Year-on-year, the August remittances grew 13.4 per cent from the $146.7 million (about Sh15.15 billion) reported in August last year.

Diaspora remittances, which have become a key support of the shilling that is under pressure due to low export earnings, stood at $154.8 million (about Sh15.99 billion) in June, a drop of 4.1 per cent compared to the $161.5 million (about Sh16.7 billion) recorded in May.

In April the remittances stood at $138.6 million (about Sh14.31 billion) six per cent lower than the $147.5 million (about Sh15.23 billion) recorded in March.

Remittances have become the country’s largest source of foreign exchange, insulating the domestic economy from external shocks by ensuring the steady supply of dollars in the system.

Also, these cash transfers are a major driver of domestic consumption, hence contributing to strong economic growth.

According to a World Bank report, Kenya is among the highest recipients of remittances in Africa.

However, the data only captures formal sources of inflows.