NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Diaspora remittances to Kenya in February 2015 increased by 11.6 percent to Sh11.4 billion from Sh10.2 billion in February 2014 on account of inflows from North America.
According to the latest statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) remittance inflows from North America accounted for 49.4 percent of total inflows in February 2015 and recorded the highest increase of 14.3 percent during the month.
The share of remittances from Europe and the rest of the world declined marginally in February 2015.
North America remittances amounted to Sh5.62 billion while Europe remitted Sh2.89 billion representing 25.8 percent of February remittances; the rest of the world remitted Sh2.83 billion accounting for 24.8 percent of the month’s remittance.
The 12-month cumulative inflows in February 2015 increased by 10.6 percent to Sh133.7 billion from Sh120.9 billion s in the year to February 2014.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday affirmed the government’s commitment to mainstreaming the Kenyan Diaspora in the country’s development agenda. He said the government is focused on creating an enabling environment that will integrate the Kenyan Diaspora and enable them to invest in the nation’s development.
The President acknowledged the role of the Diaspora in the development of their country and emphasized the need for the remittances to be structured.
He said that the government has embarked on deepening its engagement with the Diaspora beyond remittances.
President Kenyatta made the remarks when he opened the Kenya Diaspora Easter Investment Conference 2015 – the first national investment conference of its kind that attracted over 500 Kenyan Diaspora.
The two day conference ending on Thursday showcased opportunities for Diaspora engagement for participation in a nationality inclusive development process.
The conference also seeks to address challenges facing the Diaspora among them high costs of remitting money , weak structures to inform Kenyans in the Diaspora of investment opportunities , untapped skills and expertise as well as lack of an integrated database on Kenyans abroad.