- Kenya is earning more foreign exchange from its diaspora remittances than its exports.
- Kenya’s diaspora remittances rose by 8.34%% to $4.027 billion in 2022.
- The country is placing a huge emphasis on the welfare of Kenyans abroad.
Diaspora remittance in Kenya is now contributing more to the country’s overall bottom-line than some of its actual exports.
A recent report shows that Kenya is now currently raking in more foreign exchange from its diaspora remittances than each of its major exports including coffee, tea and horticulture.
This report is courtesy of the country’s central bank, which revealed that the country’s diaspora remittances rose by 8.34% to $4.027 billion in 2022, closing in on exports, which brought in $5.77 billion worth of foreign currency in the same period.
A breakdown of some of the East African nation’s chief exports shows that tea, Kenya’s number one export, earned an estimated $1.2 billion in 2022. Next was the country’s horticulture which came in at $901 million. Following this is Kenyan chemicals which earned $521 million in the period under review, coffee at $301 million, and petroleum products at $77 million.
The current Kenyan administration has placed some policy emphasis on Kenyans living abroad. President William Ruto has addressed this with the formation of a state department to respond to specific issues of Kenyans abroad.
This administration, under President William Ruto has noted that the welfare of Kenyans abroad should be taken seriously, not just for the remittance but for the likelihood to have them invest in the local markets to enhance economic growth.
The Principal Secretary, Roselyn Njogu, and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora affairs, Alfred Mutua, have prioritized the welfare of the Kenyans diaspora.
Their young three months tenure has seen them visit the Middle Eastern nation of Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest Kenyan diasporas, and tackle a number of reported cases of maltreatment of Kenyans by employers.
During an interview, Mutua reiterated the administration’s sentiment by highlighting the opportunities for local investments by Kenyans living abroad, he stated during the interview, “we want to take care of Kenyans; provide opportunities for them to get international jobs; to leverage them into positions and powers overseas so that they can help those at home; and we want to open up trade opportunities for those who are overseas.”
Kenya, is one of the African nations that is keen on increasing foreign investments within its borders, and with the formation of the new diaspora office, the country may see an influx of foreign investments from actual Kenyans.