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Diaspora remittances rise to Sh44.7bn in Q1

North America is the primary source of Kenyan diaspora remittances. FILE PHOTO | NMG
North America is the primary source of Kenyan diaspora remittances. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Diaspora remittances in the first quarter of the year rose by four per cent compared to a similar period in 2016, bucking a falling trend in other African economies.

Latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows that the remittances in the first three months of the year totalled $432.6 million (Sh44.7 billion) compared to $415.6 million in quarter one of 2016 (Sh42.1 billion at the March 2016 exchange rate).

Last year, Kenyans abroad sent home a total of $1.72 billion (Sh178 billion), making the remittances the largest source of foreign exchange for the country ahead of tourism and horticulture.

“Remittances continue to do well and are now at just a little less than 2.5 per cent of our GDP. They have grown even as remittances to sub-Saharan Africa fell by six per cent in 2016,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge last week.