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Kenyans sent home Sh14 billion last month

By Dominic Omondi | March 8th 2016

Kenyans abroad sent home Sh14 billion ($137.5million) in the month of January.

According to data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the amount is an increase of 20 per cent from the Sh12 billion ($114.6 million) recorded in  the same period last year.

Remittances into the country have grown bigger despite a global financial meltdown, which has been aggravated by a slowing Chinese economy and strengthening of the dollar.

Although a bigger chunk of the money continued to flow from North America and Europe, Kenyans living in the other parts of the diaspora contributed to most of the increase made in remittance inflows.

Total remittances

Remittances from North America and Europe contributed 46.2 per cent and 29.6 per cent respectively.

The Rest of the World contributed 24.3 per cent.

There was a total of $ 63.5 million from North America, $40.6 million from Europe and another $33.3 million received from the other parts of the diaspora.

“Cumulatively, inflows in the 12 months to January 2016 increased by 9.7 per cent to $1,571million, up from $1,432 million recorded in January 2015,” read the report in part.

Remittances from abroad are a leading source of foreign exchange for east Africa’s biggest economy alongside tea, horticulture and tourism.

Kenyans abroad usually send money to help their families and to invest in Government securities and in real estate.

Total remittances into the country for the whole of 2015 amounted to Sh157 billion, according to the data.

This was an increase of 8.4 per cent from the previous year when remittances stood at Sh146 billion.

The World Bank in the report Migration and Remittances Fact Book 2016 indicated Kenyans in the diaspora sent to their motherland a record $1.6 billion (Sh163 billion) in remittances, placing it as among the highest recipients of remittance cash in 2015. This was a 16.5 per cent increase from 2014’s Sh139 billion ($1.5 billion).

 The remittances will play a bigger part in shoring up the country’s economy which has experienced snail-paced growth as it grapples with currency volatility, depressed business activities, high interest rates.

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