In the first half of 2018, Kenyans in the diaspora sent just under $ 1.3 B back home. While the size is large, what’s even more notable, is the sheer growth.
What flowed into the East African economy, according to Central Bank data, was 55% more than the amount for the first half of 2017, when $ 887 M flowed in. The total for that year, was just under $ 1.95 B.
The fastest growth is coming from outside the traditional sources – Europe, and North America. Kenyans in places like the UAE, Australia, and African states sent over $ 216 M home in the first half of the year.
African countries are still the most expensive destinations to send money to, but these remittance volumes and growth numbers are prompting more firms to figure out how to send more cash, at a lower cost. In August 2017, Safaricom – Kenya’s biggest telecommunications firm, and WorldRemit – announced a deal to have direct transfers of remittances to Safaricom’s mobile money service. In light of this, CGTN’s Ramah Nyang spoke to WorldRemit’s Head of East African operations, Sharon Karuga Kinyanju, to find out if more such deals are on the table.