Kenya diaspora remittances up 19pc in first quarter as inflationary pressure eases

Kenyans living and working abroad sent home a total of $1.2 billion (Ksh158 billion) during the first three months of this year, marking an 18.8 percent jump from the inflows recorded during a similar period of 2023, on the back of easing inflationary pressure in developed economies.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that Kenyans abroad remitted $412.4 million (Ksh53.8 billion) back home in January—the highest in a month so far this year, followed by $407.8 million (Ksh53.2 billion) in March and $385.9 million (KshSh50.3 billion) for February.

The combined amount sent back to Kenya between January and March 2024 translates to a $190.5 million (Ksh25 billion) increase from the $1.02 billion (Ksh133.6 billion) inflows that were remitted into the country during the first three months of last year.

Read: Kenya’s diaspora remittances rise to $4.027bn

Last month, the US sustained its position as the largest source of remittances to Kenya after it hit an all-time high of $228.4 million (Ksh29.9 billion), accounting for 56 per cent of the total remitted value up from its 54 percent contribution in both January and February.

Increased dollar inflows from Kenyans abroad have partly helped ease pressure on the shilling this year by supporting the supply side of the dollar against demand by importers shipping in goods.


Towards the close of January, the Kenyan shilling posted a rare upturn after it gained at the fastest pace in three years against the greenback, adding 0.73 percent value and reversing a long-running depreciation trend that had seen the local currency shed over 26 percent value during the 12 months to last December.

Since the upturn to date, the shilling has gained up to 18.2 percent value in a development that has seen prices of essential utilities such as power and fuel marginally ease.

Read: Kenya shilling bounces back against the dollar

The improvement of the remittances’ performance follows the cooling off of the Russia-Ukraine conflict which had disrupted global supply chains thereby sending global inflation to decades-high levels.

Sky-high energy, food, and rent prices due to the supply disruptions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 had pushed up living costs in the US and Europe, eating into the disposable income that Kenyans in those economies tap to assist families and dependents back home.

Since 2015, remittances from abroad have remained the largest source of foreign cash flows into Kenya ahead of tourism, foreign direct investments and the export of agricultural products such as tea and coffee.

Source:  The East African

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