Official statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicate that Kenyans living and working in the United States (US) are behind the increased diaspora inflows in the country.
Data from CBK shows that the Kenya diaspora community in the US has been sending home an average of Sh10 billion every month. Kenya diaspora remittances hit a record high of Sh19.2 billion ($185 million) in October, a 5.3 per cent increase from Sh18.2 billion ($176.9 million) in September.
“Remittances continue to be at record levels. We always have an acceleration as we come towards Christmas, and it is something that we should continue to expect,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge at a press conference on November 24th.
In the past three years, diaspora inflow overtook tea, tourism, horticulture and coffee exports to become the country's largest source of foreign income.
The total inflow for the first 10 months of 2017 stood at Sh161.9 billion ($1.57 billion), compared to Sh146.6 billion ($1.42 billion) in the same period in 2016.
Kenyans in North America account for 56 per cent of the total diaspora inflow for October ahead of Europe, which stands at 30 per cent and the rest of the world at 14 per cent.