Diaspora remittances continue to establish themselves as a top source of Kenya’s foreign exchange.
In the first 3 months of this year, Kenyans living abroad sent a total of Sh67.16 billion back into the economy. This is an increase from last year’s Sh64.79 that was sent in the first quarter.
According to Central Bank data, 12-month cumulative inflows have increased to Sh274.84 billion in March this year from Sh217.7 billion in March last year, a 26% growth.
North America continues to be the biggest source of inflows, accounting for 53% of the total in March. The US has seen a strengthening economy in recent months, which might explain the increase.
“North America remained the main source region for the remittances, accounting for 53 percent of the total in March,” CBK stated.
As a result of the strong remittances, the shilling has remained relatively stable, with CBK’s foreign exchange reserves standing at $8.254 billion in March. That represents 5.31 months import cover.
Full year 2018, Sh272.44 billion was remitted into the country, and this year is on mark to surpass that.