Kenyans in the diaspora sent home Sh28.4 billion during September, the latest data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.
This represents a 4.38 percent drop from the Sh29.7 billion remitted by Kenyans abroad in the previous month (August).
The cumulative diaspora inflows in the 12 months to September 2020 totaled $2,967 million (Sh322.8 billion) compared to $2,786 (Sh303.1 billion) in the 12 months to September 2019.
Kenyans living and working in the United States were the largest contributors to the diaspora remittances in the year leading to September 2020.
“The US remains the largest source of remittance flows to Kenya recording a growth of 25.2 percent in the year to September,” CBK says in a weekly bulletin.
The Kenyan diaspora community wired home Sh31.28 billion and Sh30.03 billion in the months of June and July respectively.
CBK had earlier this year projected a sharp slump in diaspora remittances citing job losses and salary cuts affecting Kenyans living abroad, especially the US where 40 million people have been rendered jobless by the Covid-19 crisis.
Diaspora inflows have remained Kenya’s leading source of foreign exchange since 2015 ahead of earnings from tourism, tea, coffee, and horticulture exports.
In 2019, Kenyans abroad sent home $2.7 billion (Sh280 billion), a new annual record, according to CBK. This represented a 3.7 percent growth from the previous year when diaspora remittances stood at $2.6 billion (Sh272.3 billion).
In Africa, Kenya is the fourth-largest recipient of diaspora remittances behind Egypt, Nigeria, and Ghana.