Remittances from Kenyans working and living abroad rose to 21.7% compared to the same period last year. It reached a monthly record high of $350.6 million in December. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) reported inflows totaled $3.778 billion from the previous year’s $3.113 billion.
Remittances, tea exports, and tourism are the primary source of hard currency that Kenya’s economy heavily relies on. Although, earnings made from tea and coffee are shrinking because of the high global supply, eroding prices.
Before COVID, tourism was one of Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earners and the third-largest contributor to the GDP after agriculture and manufacturing. However, new data indicates economic recovery due to increased international arrivals of 53.3%, 870,465 up from 567,848 in 2020.
Globally, the United States is the largest source of remittances in Kenya, responsible for 63.6% of the total inflows. As the number of Kenyan immigrants increases, emerging drivers of remittances increase in the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain.