Remittances from Kenyans in the diaspora rose 10.3 per cent last year compared with 2012, with North America retaining its position as the key source of foreign inflows.
Data released by the Central Bank of Kenya on Friday shows that Kenyans living abroad sent home Sh110.3 billion ($1.29 billion) last year compared with Sh100 billion sent in 2012, setting a new record high.
Cash remittances from North America accounted for 49 per cent of the Sh9.67 billion ($113.2 million) sent in December 2013, with Europe and the rest of the world accounting for 27 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
This was 0.2 per cent lower than the remittances for November which amounted to Sh9.71 billion ($113.4 million) – the highest monthly inflow on record, and 7.2 per cent above the Sh9.03 billion (105.7 billion) recorded in December 2012.
“North America’s dominant position is a reflection of the large number of Kenyans with gainful economic activities in the region,” said CBK.
The US economy has been recovering from the global financial crisis leading to increased remittances as those who had dropped out of the job market are re-absorbed.
According to CBK, the average monthly inflow rose to Sh9.2 billion ($107.6 million) in the year to December 2013 from Sh8.3 billion ($97.6 million) in the year to December 2012.