Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa are the top African markets for remittance inflows in Kenya.
However, compared to the same period last year, diaspora remittances rose 21.7 per cent, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The data from CBK showed that the cumulative inflows for the 12 months to January totaled $3.778 billion (Sh427 billion) compared to $3.113 billion (Sh351.4 billion) in the same period in 2021, a 21.4 per cent increase. Furthermore, the CBK noted the United States was the largest source of remittances in Kenya, accounting for 63.6 per cent of the total inflows.
“Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain have also emerged as important drivers of remittances, in line with the growing number of Kenyans immigrating to these countries in search of jobs,” The Star reported.
Kenya’s economy relies heavily on remittances which is a key source of hard currency, along with tea exports and tourism. However, tea and coffee earnings have been shrinking due to high global supply, eroding prices.
Tourism, which used to be one of Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner and the third-largest contributor to the GDP after agriculture and manufacturing, was hit the hardest by Covid-19. However, new data suggests signs of economic recovery as international arrivals increased by 53.3 per cent, to 870,465, up from 567,848 in 2020.