Cash flow from Kenyans in diaspora hit a new record with their remittances for three months beginning January this year and ending in March.
They sent a record of $641.5 million (Sh64.3 billion) in the first three months of the year.
This amount is a steep jump of 48.29 per cent representing an estimated $432.6 million (Sh43.4 billion) which was sent in the same period last year according to new data released by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Since December last year, to March 2018, Kenyans abroad have set a new record with very high remittances- of $203.8 million (ShSh20.4 billion) compared to previous years under the same period.
In December remittances from diaspora were $208.9 million (Sh20.9 billion) in January, $210.4 million (Sh21.1 billion) in February and $222.2 million (Sh22.3 billion) in March, reports Business Daily.
CBK in a weekly market note said that the increased remittances are a result of improved partnerships between commercial banks and international money remittance providers.
“The improved performance reflects increased uptake of financial products by the diaspora and new partnerships between commercial banks and international money remittance providers,” CBK says in weekly market note.
Kenyan financial institutions have tailored products and investments targeting its people in the diaspora which contributes to a rise in remittances.
Commercial banks categorized under Tier-One lender; KCB , Equity , Co-op Bank and Diamond Trust Bank recently stamped global partnerships with money remitting firms which eased how Kenyans in the diaspora can send money.
For the last three years, Kenyans abroad have been the largest source of foreign exchange. They overtook tea exports and tourism respectively.
Kenyan diaspora community has showed interest in the construction sector.
“We already offer 360 degree services from buying, building, getting approvals, selling and managing of land to offer value and convenience to our customers,” KCB head of diaspora banking Vincent Aberi said last month when the lender camped in Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as further quoted by Business Daily.
Dollar inflows from Kenyan citizens living abroad has partly helped in easing pressure on the shilling.
“Remittances have played quite a significant part in strengthening of the shilling in 2018 because they are the top foreign exchange earner and cumulatively contributed more than two per cent of Kenya’s real GDP (gross domestic product) in 2017,” Genghis Capital senior research analyst Churchill Ogutu said on Monday.