Remittances from Qatar fall 40% in the first eight months of 2023, reveals Kenya central bank data
Remittances from Saudi Arabia climbed 30.28% to reach $246 million in the first eight months of 2023, compared to $188.8 million in the same period last year, according to the Central Bank of Kenya data.
The Middle East’s largest economy continued to grow at the fastest pace amongst top global sources, Business Daily reported, citing the data.
Saudi Arabia has surpassed the UK to become the second largest source, contributing 62.3% of the $91.79 million growth in total inflows.
“We are about to sign a labour agreement with them [Saudi Arabia] so that we get more professionals to be allowed to go over there,”
In January, Kenya’s Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Alfred Mutua said the country would sign a labour agreement with Saudi Arabia so more professionals would be allowed to work in the kingdom.
Currently, most workers are recruited and connected to employers by agencies under the GCC’s “kafala” system, which monitors migrant workers largely in domestic and construction sectors.
Despite controlling a 56.18% share in remittances in the first eight months, the US recorded a 0.72% year-on-year (YoY) decline to $1.55 billion.
Remittances from the UAE grew marginally to $43.8 million in the year to August from $43.5 million a year ago.
Qatar, however, recorded a sharp decline of over 40% YoY to $35.7 million.
Expat remittances are the largest source of foreign cash flows into Kenya, ahead of tourists, foreign direct investments and agricultural exports since 2015.