, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Money sent into the country by Kenyans living abroad grew by 10 percent last year to Sh110.9 billion from Sh100.6 billion in 2012, with the United States remaining the lead source for Kenya’s inflows.
According to latest data by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) average monthly inflows remained resilient increasing to Sh9.2 billion last year from Sh8.3billion in 2012.
In the month of December 2013, remittance inflows amounted to Sh9.73 billion which was 0.2 percent lower than the inflows recorded in November which amounted to Sh9.75 billion.
Remittances from all source markets have grown substantially since 2012, with inflows from North America accounting for almost half of the total flows.
North America accounted for 49 percent of total remittances in December 2013, while Europe and the rest of the world accounted for 27 percent and 24 percent respectively.
“North America’s dominant position is a reflection of the large number of Kenyans with gainful economic activities in the region,” the bank stated.
CBK 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.
“Due to the huge sums involved, remittances are now being recognised as an important contributor to the country’s growth and development,” the bank said.
Most Kenyans living abroad typically send money home to help their families and for investment in various sectors like real estate.
Remittances are the fourth-largest source of foreign exchange in East Africa’s biggest economy after revenue from tea, horticulture and tourism.