Kenyans living and working abroad sent home $245 million (Sh24.55 billion) in January, 2019, latest figures from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) show.
This represents a 17.22 percent growth compared with $209 million (Sh20.94 billion) sent in the same month last year. The increase is partly attributed to the back-to-school expenses.
“It (January) is a high season for back-to-school payments and other bills, and that is one of the reasons for the upswing in remittances together with increased and cost-friendly channels of remitting the funds,” says Mercyline Kyalo, a senior research analyst at Kingdom Securities.
Last year, Kenyans in the diaspora sent home Sh247.37 billion, a 39 percent increase from the Sh197.9 billion remitted in 2017.
The highest inflows 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).
Remittances from the diaspora remain Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner since 2015 after overtaking income from tea, coffee, and tourism.
Commercial banks have also in recent years developed savings and investment products targeted at the diaspora community. This has been listed as one of the factors for the growth of diaspora remittances.
“In terms of investments, we have seen many companies going abroad and telling people they can invest here,” Ms. Kyalo says.