In Summary
  • The highest amount of inflow this year—which is also an all-time high—was recorded in March at Sh22.4 billion ($222.2 million)
  • The higher inflows have helped the shilling’s strong performance against the dollar this year, where it has appreciated by 2.2 per cent.
  • North America—mainly the US—continued to contribute the largest share of inflows

Remittances by Kenyans living abroad rose 50 per cent in the first four months of the year compared to a similar period in 2017, cementing the inflows’ position as the leading source of foreign exchange in the country.

Latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data show the cumulative inflows in the four months to April stood at Sh86.7 billion ($858.6 million), compared to Sh57.7 billion ($571.2 million) in a similar period in 2017, with the increase mainly backed by huge growth in the dominant North American remittances.

The highest amount of inflow this year—which is also an all-time high—was recorded in March at Sh22.4 billion ($222.2 million) with April recording a slight decline to Sh21.9 billion ($217.1 million).

The higher inflows have helped the shilling’s strong performance against the dollar this year, where it has appreciated by 2.2 per cent.

Kenyans abroad are also increasingly making portfolio investments in the local capital markets.

“Remittance inflows remained resilient despite a 2.3 per cent decline in April 2018. The improved performance reflects increased uptake of financial products by the Diaspora and new partnerships between commercial banks and international money remittance providers,” said CBK in its latest weekly bulletin.

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