Kenyans living and working abroad sent home $244 million (Sh24.82 billion) in the month of December 2018, latest figures from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.
This represents 10.75 percent growth compared to the Sh22.41 billion the diaspora community sent home in November.
“Remittance inflows improved to $244 million (Sh24 billion) in December 2018, which was 20 percent higher than in December 2017,” CBK says.
Kenyans in North America, mainly the US, sent the lion's share of remittances in December (45 percent) followed by those in Europe.
“North America, Europe and the rest of the world accounted for 45 percent, 32 percent, and 23 percent, respectively, of the total remittances in December 2018,” CBK says in its weekly bulletin.
Cumulatively, Kenyans in the diaspora sent home Sh247.37 billion in the 12 months to December 2018, up from Sh197.9 billion remitted in the same period the previous year, reflecting a 39 percent increase.
This means that on average, each of the estimated 3 million Kenyans in abroad sent home Sh100,000 last year.
The highest remittances were recorded in the months of June and May at Sh27.11 billion and Sh25.81 billion respectively, with the lowest being in September (Sh20.89 billion).
The growth in diaspora inflows is largely attributed to a better global economic outlook and the tax amnesty on remittance imposed by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Diaspora inflows remain Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner since 2015 after overtaking income from tea, coffee, and tourism.