The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is set to conduct the country’s first-ever survey on diaspora remittances.
CBK said the study aims at collecting information on remittance inflows to Kenya to help guide policy, with the objective of boosting the role of remittances in supporting the economy and livelihoods.
CBK will carry out the research in February and March in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other relevant stakeholders.
“The Diaspora Remittances Survey will be conducted online in two parts; the first phase will focus on the sources of remittances (remitters and the source countries) while the second phase will target the households that receive remittances,” CBK said in a statement on Friday.
During the exercise, CBK expects to gather information on the efficiency and cost of alternative remittance channels, difficulties encountered in remitting cash or non-cash transfers, the availability of information to Kenyans in the diaspora about investment opportunities in Kenya, and the usage of remittances received.
Data by CBK shows that Kenyans abroad defied the COVID-19 shocks to send home a record $3.04 billion (Sh331 billion) in the 12 months to November 2020, representing a nine percent growth compared to the same period in 2019 when the diaspora remittances stood at Sh304 billion.
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.
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.