Kenya: Diaspora remittances pick up
January 8, 2013 – Remittances to Kenya amounted to US$ 97.5 million in November 2012, or 6.4 percent higher than US$ 91.6 million recorded in October 2012. The average remittances inflow in the year to November 2012 amounted to US$ 95.9 million, or 32.1 percent above US$ 72.6 million recorded in the year to November 2011.
There has been a sustained upward trend in the 12-month cumulative average remittance inflow since the second half of 2010 (Table 1 and Chart 1). The pick-up in the 12 month cumulative average flow since December 2011 reflects the sharp rise in monthly flows to a peak of US 106 million in March 2012, and relative stability thereafter, in the range of US Dollars 92-101 million through November 2012.
The factors that explain the relative increase in remittances include:
- Improved data collection techniques due to proper classification of remittances data by commercial banks.
- Increased competition among money transfer service providers that has reduced transaction charges.
- Mobile phone companies’ partnership with international money transfer players such as Western Union which has made it cheaper and more convenient to send money back home.
Note: A remittance is money sent by a person in a foreign land to his or her home country. Due to the huge sums involved, remittances are now being recognized as an important contributor to the country’s growth and development.
The Central Bank of Kenya conducts a survey on remittance inflows every month through the formal channels that include commercial banks and other authorised international remittances service providers in Kenya.
Source: Central Bank of Kenya