By Samuel Ouma
Despite the global economic downturn occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, Kenya’s diaspora remittance grew by 10.7 per cent from January to December 2020.
Kenyan government received ksh340 billion, which is equivalent to $3.094 billion, from its citizens living and working abroad, according to data released by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
CBK Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge noted that last year’s remittance was higher than ksh307.7 billion ($2,796 million) recorded in 2019.
Dr. Njoroge attributed the growth in figures to financial innovations that provided numerous channels for transactions.
“This remarkable growth of remittance has been supported by financial innovations, that provided Kenyans in the diaspora with more convenient channels for their transactions,” Dr. Patrick Njoroge said.
In the same period, Kenya also recorded an increase in the inflow of ksh33 billion ($299.6 million) in the month of December from ksh28 billion in the month of September.
The country’s April remittance hit a low record after it registered ksh22.9 billion from ksh25 billion, and it was projected to slump further in the future. This was due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Nevertheless, the inflows started to increase the following month and continued to rise nonstop, indicating that the Word Bank’s projection was correct.
The international bank had anticipated that Kenya would bear fewer consequences of Covid-19 in source countries compared to its neighbours.
“Within the region, remittances to Kenya have so far stayed positive, though flows are likely to eventually decline in 2021. All major remittance-receiving countries will likely see a decline of remittances,” World Bank reported.