THE IMPORTANCE OF REMITTANCES TO KENYA
Analysis exploring the value of remittances against GDP can be found here
Remittances are a vital part of Kenya's economy, they are currently worth more than the combined value of tea and coffee exports. Economies all over the world being impacted by the response measures to Covid-19 and many people have or will lose their ability to earn, it may be assumed that the current crisis would have a negative impact on the value of remittances, however...
The value of remittances in July 2020 was over 23% more than the same month in 2019
The value of remittances from North America and non European countries now stand at their highest ever levels
The value of remittances in June increased by over 38%, from the year low in April, to over 288 million USD
The value of remittances in June increased by over 11%, month on month from April
The value of remittances in June 2020 was only 2% down from the highest ever remittance value recorded in June 2019
The largest monthly increase in remittance value, over 40%, came from countries outside of North America and Europe
The overall value of remittances in May was up 6% from the same month in 2019 and up 24% from the value remitted in April 2020. It is possible that this reflects the employment status of the diaspora in North America and Europe and the % that are considered Essential Workers.
Over 56% of the value of remittances came from North America in May 2020
A RESILIENT DIASPORA
Data from May indicates that remittance payments have been much more resilient than may have been expected, especially those coming from North America, which are well above the monthly average for 2019.
Research from 2015 shows that the profile of Kenyans living and working in the US are highly employed (93% of those in the labour force were employed), 62% are either professionals or work in managerial positions, 27% of the workforce are working as registered nurses or nursing aides. This profile paints a picture of skilled, essential workers who are likely to be in high demand during this pandemic and could provide an essential lifeline to their support networks