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Money Transfers Bailed Kenya Out of the Pandemic Storm

Latest data from Kenya’s Central Bank (CBK) reveals that diaspora remittances hit $3 billion in 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Although the virus crippled its foreign earnings from tourism and exports due to a global lockdown, the East African nation earned a minimum of Sh6.33 billion weekly in diaspora remittance last year. According to a report, the country experienced a growth of 10.7 percent in diaspora remittance from the $2.796 billion it made in 2019. It is also important to note that the pandemic significantly encouraged the use of financial technologies which accounted for an increase in online transfers. These smart innovations helped Kenyan’s abroad to send money 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,” Patrick Njoroge, CBK’s Governor said in a statement. According to the apex bank, the strong performance came on the back of December 2020 remittances hitting $299 million. That was the all-time high to have ever been sent home in a single month. The country currently tops in diaspora remittances in the Eastern African region.