Kenyans abroad sent home USD 142.6 million last year

CBK data shows remittance inflows from North America accounted for 52 per cent of total inflows and increased by 2.2 per cent from $72.6 million to $74.2 million in October 2016.

 

Central Bank of Kenya data shows that money sent home from abroad contributed to the Gross Domestic Product by 2.5 per cent in October last year.

“The 12-month cumulative inflows to October 2016 increased by 10.3 per cent to $1.68 billion (Sh174.54 billion) from $1.52 billion (Sh158.27 billion) during a similar period in 2015. The 12 month average flow also sustained an upward trend to $140.4 million (Sh14.55 billion) from $127.3 million (Sh13.19 billion) during the same period,” CBK said on Friday.

Kenya’s economy relies heavily on remittances which is a key source of hard currency, along with tea exports and tourism.

In Rural Kenya for instance, a whole family may be depending on their kin's remittances from abroad, without it poverty is but a reality.

Remittance from Europe accounted for 29.5 per cent of total inflows and declined marginally by 0.3 per cent from $42.16 million to $42.04 million.

Inflows from Europe have recorded an inconsistent growth since UK voted to leave the European Union in June last year.

As a result of Brexit which will require foreigners to have special work permits in order to work in United Kingdom, remittances from UK are expected to decrease.

Trump policy of ‘America first’ will also see remittances from United States take a cut as some Kenyans who are irregular citizens may be deported or lose their jobs.

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