How the Kenyan diaspora saved Christmas in a big way this festive season

Christmas season
  • Dollars remitted home by Kenyans living abroad during the festive period helped the shilling regain some of the ground it lost against the greenback earlier this month.
  • Remittances have in the past gone up significantly during the month of December compared to the rest of other 11 months of the year.
  • Remittances are crucial in many Kenyan homes with the money sometimes dependable by whole families

The Kenyan diaspora saved Christmas in a big way this festive season.

Dollars remitted home by Kenyans living abroad during the festive period helped the shilling regain some of the ground it lost against the greenback earlier this month.

Light demand for the dollar in the local market also helped the local currency.

On Monday, commercial banks traded the shilling at an average of 101.80 units to the US dollar, a slight appreciation from the closing rate of 101.84 recorded on Friday.

With just three trading days this week due to the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays, the currency is expected to remain trading in a tight range as most investors sit out.

On Monday, traders said that dollar demand from oil and merchandise importers remained subdued on the day, and is likely to remain so until the end of the week, while banks were also selling some of their dollar holdings in order to meet shilling reserve requirements at the Central Bank of Kenya.

At the end of last week, the latest data from CBK showed, official foreign currency reserves went up by $25 million (Sh2.5 billion) to $8.005 billion (Sh815 billion), suggesting that the regulator was taking up some of the dollars being sold by commercial banks.

Remittances are crucial in many Kenyan homes with the money sometimes dependable by whole families to pay for school fees, medicines, food and development. Hundreds of Kenyan families have lift themselves out of Poverty through remittances.

Remittances have in the past gone up significantly during the month of December compared to the rest of other 11 months of the year.

Last year, December remittances stood at Sh20.8 billion, against a monthly average of Sh16.2 billion between January and November.

The same trend was also witnessed in 2016, when the December remittances stood at Sh16.4 billion against an average of Sh14 billion for the rest of the year.

One of the sectors which has especially gained during the festive period as a result of the increased remittances is the multi-billion tourism industry.

Hoteliers in Mombasa have reported that in the December holiday season, the number of international holidaymakers has gone up by 22.4 percent over last year, following an increase in the number of chartered, international direct and local daily flights to coastal resort city.

Kenya is currently the 4th largest remittance recipient in Africa and, according to the Central Bank of Kenya diaspora remittances have overtaken revenue from tea, coffee, and tourism as the top foreign exchange earner.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Amazing transformation of 21-year-old man bullied for being born different (video)

Amazing transformation of 21-year-old man bullied for being born different (video)

Abel Mutua's movie makes over Sh4M in 5 days

Abel Mutua's movie makes over Sh4M in 5 days

How Janet Mbugua's husband Eddie landed Sh240 million deal with Chinese investors

How Janet Mbugua's husband Eddie landed Sh240 million deal with Chinese investors

5 things you should never do to please a woman

5 things you should never do to please a woman

British MP claims she didn't know her flat was owned by the Kenyatta family

British MP claims she didn't know her flat was owned by the Kenyatta family

Janet Mbugua's husband thrown at the centre of nasty fight at Ole Sereni Hotel [Video]

Janet Mbugua's husband thrown at the centre of nasty fight at Ole Sereni Hotel [Video]

Shika Simu yangu bro, we need you - Eric Omondi begs Eddie Butita

Shika Simu yangu bro, we need you - Eric Omondi begs Eddie Butita

Sh79,000 per month jobs for Kenyans without degrees

Sh79,000 per month jobs for Kenyans without degrees

Mulamwah and girlfriend Sonie welcome a bouncing Baby Girl (Photo)

Mulamwah and girlfriend Sonie welcome a bouncing Baby Girl (Photo)