Kenyans living abroad sent the highest amount of money in June, an all-time high of Sh30.3 Bn which is an increase of 21 percent from Sh24.7 bn of diaspora remittances recorded in May.
In its weekly bulletin, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data showed that the June remittance pushed the 12-month cumulative inflows to Sh282.3 bn, a reflection of 13.6 percent, up from Sh248.6 bn recorded in June last year.
North America and Europe accounted for 38per cent and 32 percent respectively while the rest of the world accounted for 30 percent of the remittances in June 2019.
Currently, remittances in Kenya has become the biggest source of foreign exchange, ahead of tourism, tea, coffee and horticulture exports
The last time Kenya’s diaspora remittance hit a record high was in February 2009 when money from abroad jumped by 34.9 percent to Sh5.4 billion from Sh4.03 bn in January the same year.
The rise of diaspora remittances could be attributed to the 2016 amended Tax Procedures Act which introduced Section 37B that granted amnesty on foreign income that had been earned on or before 31st December 2016, and later extended to 31st June 2019.
Increased remittances have also helped to shore up the shilling in the absence of International Monetary Fund IMF facility which expired in September after the government failed to meet the fund’s conditions for an extension,
A world Bank report released early 2019 reveal that Kenyans living abroad sent more money than the rest of East Africa Diaspora combined. Kenya’s Diaspora remittances in 2018 were Sh280 billion, eclipsing the Sh242 billion sent to the rest of Eastern Africa.
There are more than three millions Kenyans living abroad, many of whom have attained higher education and are working in the formal sector jobs.
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