Kenyans in the diaspora defied the global financial crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic to send home more cash.
A record $3.04 billion (Sh331 billion) was received from the diaspora in the 12 months to November 2020, the latest data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.
The amount represents a nine percent growth compared to the same period in 2019 when the diaspora remittances stood at Sh304 billion.
“Kenyans in the Diaspora defied Covid-19 shocks to send in the 12 months to November 2020 totaled $3.045 billion (Sh331.9 billion), compared to $2.790 billion (Sh304.1 billion) in the 12 months to November 2019,” says CBK in its latest bulletin.
CBK and the World Bank had last year projected that diaspora remittances would fall by at least 20 percent due to the shocks faced by Kenyans abroad including work-related restrictions and job cuts triggered by the pandemic.
“What happened is that developed nations where most Kenyans are such as the US and UK have social support systems such as cash transfers that cushioned them,” Nairobi-based economist Robert Shaw told People Daily.
Diaspora remittances have remained Kenya’s leading source of foreign exchange since 2015 ahead of earnings from tourism, tea, coffee, and horticulture exports.
Kenya is the fourth-largest recipient of diaspora remittances in Africa behind Egypt, Nigeria, and Ghana.