Markets & Finance

Diaspora remittances up to six-year high

western union

A lady transacts at money transfer firm Western Union. Remittances received from Kenyans in the diaspora in the first six months amounted to Sh50.67 billion. Photo/FILE

Remittances from Kenyans working abroad increased by 46.7 per cent in the first half of this year, according to new statistics by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

In the six months to June the country received Sh50.67 billion ($596.23 million), compared to Sh34.55 billion ($406.55 million) in the same period last year.

This is the highest amount of remittances received compared to the same time period over the past six years.

In the first six months of 2010, remittances received were Sh25.52 billion ($300.24 million) while Sh24.81 billion (291.89 million) and Sh28.01 billion ($329.55 million) was received in the same period of 2009 and 2008 respectively.

Remittances received from Kenyans in the diaspora in the first six months of 2007 and 2006 amounted to Sh21.85 billion ($257.08 million) and Sh17.98 billion ($211.6 million) respectively.

“The average remittances inflow in the year to June 2012 amounted to $90.1 million (Sh7.65 billion) up from $62.4 million (Sh5.3 billion) recorded in the year to June 2011,” said Charles Koori, director research department CBK.

In the month of June, Sh8.45 billion ($99.48 million) was sent into the country down from Sh8.54 billion ($100.99 million) in May with remittances from North America accounting for 45 per cent of the total.