How travel restrictions increased diaspora remittance in Kenya, Africa

US dollar bills. [Photo: courtesy]

Cash inflows from the diaspora have increased since travel restrictions were imposed across the many African countries and the world too.

According to EFG Hermes, a financial investment firm, the result of the travel restrictions sealed most of the back door channels used to send money to other countries.

EFG Hermes noted that due to this, many central banks were able to capture the real data since the monies went through the right channels.

Diaspora remittances in Kenya during the pandemic season have recorded a slight increase which is shocking because the World Bank had earlier projected that it would reduce drastically.

EFG Hermes in its report, the Star indicates, cited that diaspora remittances in Kenya, Morocco and Bangladesh increased by 9 per cent on average over March to September this year.

EFG Hermes also indicated that expatriates who were returning home following the pandemic transferred huge amounts of money which increased the percentage of remittances.

Africans in the diaspora sent home $80 billion between March and September, the World Bank stated.

Diaspora remittances by Kenyans working abroad rose by 21.4 per cent in September to Ksh28.4 billion ($260.7 million).

Kenyans in the US sent the bulk of this cash. Compared to a similar period last year, Ksh23.4 billion ($214.7 million) was remitted by Kenyans in the diaspora.

In July though, remittances from Kenyans in the diaspora dropped into Ksh30.03 billion ($276.9 million) from Ksh31.28 billion ($288.5 million) sent in June.

In 2019, CBK data shows that Kenyans in the diaspora sent Ksh280 billion back home. This figure places diaspora remittances among top foreign exchange income earners in the country.

The figure could increase in 2021 following the first African Diaspora Symposium slated to be held in Nairobi from between December 8 to December 10.