Kenyans in Diaspora Spend Cash on Family Support Back Home- Central Bank Report

Kenyans in the Diaspora have been spending more on family support according to data published by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

According to the report  surveying diaspora remittances between March and May 2021, Kenyans remitted money to their relatives regularly with most remittances being used to cater for food and household goods.

“Remittance flows to Kenya are regular (remitted monthly), directed at nuclear family members and largely cater for basic household needs such as food, household goods, medicine and payment of education expenses,” stated the CBK.

Further, the CBK report details that the majority of recipients were self-employed persons, the unemployed or students, suggesting a relatively high dependency ratio of Kenyans in the diaspora.  

A data representation of diaspora remittances since 2023 to April 2024


Mwango Capital

These sentiments were echoed by the Principal Secretary, of the State Department for Diaspora Affairs, Roseline Njogu who in a post stated that a huge chunk of the remittances sent to Kenya go towards supporting family members.

Further analysis of the data revealed that more than half of the remittance amounts are typically channeled towards investment in real estate (land and building) for recipients, mortgage payments for senders and purchase of food and household goods.

These insights come in the backdrop of an increase in diaspora remittances. Official data shows that by the end of the first quarter of 2024, Ksh210 billion had been sent into the country by Kenyans living overseas.

CBK data further shows that in January, diaspora remittances hit a high of Ksh53.8 billion (USD 412.4M).

However, in February the diaspora remittances reduced to Ksh50.4 billion (USD385,933M).

The numbers however peaked in March recording Ksh 53.2 billion (USD407,772M).

Notably, the United States led the pack in all the first three months of 2024.

Given the current volume of remittances, projections for the end of the year point to a possible increase in annual remittances.

In 2023, the country recorded an annual figure of Ksh671 billion in total remittances with the United States still leading the volume of remittances. 

Former CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge holding bank notes (left) and someone counting 100 US dollar bills.


CBK / Trade Africa

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