The Central Bank of Kenya has announced that Kenyans in diaspora remitted the highest amount recorded in the last 15 years.
According to CBK, the captured remittance inflows were the highest at Sh422,178,900 million into the country in 2021. This surpassed the previous record of Sh351,323,700 million that was set in 2020.
On Thursday, CBK announced the results of the first-ever Diaspora Remittances Survey.
The survey was conducted from March to May 2021 and is aimed at collecting valuable information on remittance inflows to Kenya, with the objective of boosting the role of remittances in supporting the economy and livelihood.
The information that was gathered during the survey included the efficiency and the cost of alternative remittances channels, the difficulties in remitting cash or non-cash transfers, the availability of information to Kenyans in the diaspora about investment opportunities in Kenyan and the usage of the remittances received.
From the survey, some of the key findings show that remittances are directed to the family members who are largely self-employed, under-employed, or students.
Also, about half of the total remitted was allocated to investment in real estates (land and buildings) for recipients, mortgage payment for senders, and purchase of food, and household goods. The survey also confirmed the importance of mobile money operators and money transfer companies in addition to banks as the main channels for cash remittances.
The survey also shows that Kenyans in the diaspora prefer digital service providers due to convenience, promptness, and ease of access.
Among the main challenges that were identified during the survey is the high cost of remitting cash, and inadequate information on investment opportunities in Kenya for the remitters.