CBK to commission survey on diaspora remittances starting February

US dollar bills. [Photo: courtesy]

Starting February, Kenya will launch a survey on diaspora remittances with the view to adding diaspora inflows into the country’s growth and economic development.

The Central Bank Of Kenya (CBK) will be in charge of conducting the survey which will be held in February and March.

CBK will collaborate with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). It will also work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant stakeholders.

In a statement on Friday, CBK said the information collected will guide the country on policy formulation.

“The survey aims at collecting valuable information on remittance inflows to Kenya to help guide policy, with the objective of boosting the role of remittances in supporting the economy and livelihoods,” CBK said in a statement on Friday.

The survey will collect information on the “efficiency and cost of alternative remittance channels, difficulties encountered in remitting cash or non-cash transfers, the availability of information to Kenyans in the diaspora about investment opportunities in Kenya and the usage of remittances received.”

Diaspora remittances in 2020 stood at Ksh340.5 billion ($3,094 million) despite COVID-19 pandemic dealing world economies a heavy blow.

According to CBK data, this was a 10.7% increase given that this figure in 2019 stood at Ksh307.7 billion ($2,796).

In December 2020, monies wired back to Kenya by the diaspora community were Ksh32.9 billion.

CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge attributed the increased diaspora remittance to innovative financial channels that have enabled Kenyans in the diaspora to send money back home with ease.

“This remarkable growth of remittances has been supported by financial innovations that provided Kenyans in the diaspora more convenient channels for their transactions,” Dr Njoroge said according to the Star.

The survey will be executed in two phases. The first phase will collect data on source of remittances capturing the countries from which the money was sent.

The second phase of the survey will focus on those who the money from diaspora is sent to.

North America and Europe form the core of Kenya’s diaspora remittances at 70 per cent.