Kenya’s Diaspora Remittances to Hit $2.9 Billion in 2020-World Bank

Nov 05 2020
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Kenya has been ranked 3rd in Africa in terms of diaspora remittance inflows, projected to reach US$ 2.9 Billion this year.

According to a World Bank October 2020 Brief that provides updates on global migration and remittances, Kenya is the only country in the Sub- Saharan Africa region where remittance inflows have so far been countercyclical to the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. However, the brief warns these inflows are likely to fall in 2021.

Nigeria is placed at the top as largest recipient of remittances in Africa, with projected inflows of US $ 21.7 Billion in 2020. It is followed by Ghana (US$ 2.9 Billion). Senegal is placed in fourth place, behind Kenya, with projected inflows of US$ 2.3 Billion at the end of 2020.

Nigeria is also ranked the 7th largest recipient of remittances among low- and middle-income countries (LMICS). This group includes El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan India, Indonesia, Honduras and Kenya.

South Sudan has reported the Sub Sahara region’s highest share of remittances to GDP, at more than 35.4 per cent, followed by Lesotho (20.6 per cent), the Gambia (14.9percent), then Cape Verde (12.0 per cent), and Comoros (10.8 per cent).

This World Bank Brief titled “Migration and Development Brief 33, October 2020, Phase II-COVID-19 Crisis through a Migration Lens” remittance flows to LMICs is projected to decline by 7.2 per cent, to US$508 billion in 2020.

This position will change with a further decline of 7.5% to $470 billion in 2021.

These projected falls are attributed to weak growths in many countries, job insecurity in countries with migrant workers, fall in the world price of crude oil and a weak exchange rate against the greenback in many countries.

The World Bank, in its outlook, indicates a more gradual and prolonged decline, continuing into 2021 than its initial picture, which predicted a sharper decline in 2020 and a modest recovery the following year.

 The Brief’s outlook for remittances remains uncertain and will depend on how COVID‐ 19 hits global economic growth.

World Bank’s monthly or quarterly data on remittances also reveal that Mexico, Pakistan, and Bangladesh—stand out as those that escaped a decline in Q2 and seem to register increases in Q3.

Remittance flows to LMICs touched a record high of US$548 billion in 2019, more than foreign direct investment (FDI) flows (US$534 billion) and overseas development assistance (about US$166 billion).

The Kenyan Wall Street

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