IFAD IDFR Observance Day - 097
Kenya’s remittance are a crucial part of the foreign exchange earnings matrix and vital income source
Ambassador Isaiya Kabira from the State Department for Diaspora Affairs
IFAD IDFR Observance Day - 097
Kenya’s remittance are a crucial part of the foreign exchange earnings matrix and vital income source
Ambassador Isaiya Kabira from the State Department for Diaspora Affairs
IFAD IDFR Observance Day - 097
Kenya’s remittance are a crucial part of the foreign exchange earnings matrix and vital income source
Ambassador Isaiya Kabira from the State Department for Diaspora Affairs

Observance event

7 June 2024, Nairobi, Kenya

Our first of a series of IDFR observance countries’ events, took place in Kenya on 7 June. The event was a resounding success, bringing together more than 100 delegates from public and private sector, among which, Kenyan authorities, regulators, financial service providers, payment hubs, think tanks, civil society, development partners, and diaspora organizations, to celebrate and recognize the vital contributions of migrant workers and the positive impact of remittances on their families and communities, especially for those living in rural areas. Agenda (PDF)

The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is a universally-recognized observance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (Resolution A/RES/72/281) and marked every year on 16 June.

Every year, the IDFR highlights the significant contribution of over 200 million migrants, through the remittances they send home, to improve the lives of over 800 million family members. This Day draws our attention to the economic impact of these money flows nations, and recognises the sacrifice, separation and generosity of migrants.

By 2030, it is projected that globally US$5 trillion will have been sent home by migrants to lower- and middle- income countries. Much of this money goes directly to rural areas where 80% of the world’s poor live, face food shortages, and the impacts of climate change are the most pronounced.

Remittances, sent by migrants and diaspora communities, directly support millions of families to achieve their own Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They contribute directly to poverty alleviation, education, healthcare, small business development, gender equality, and rural economic growth.

 

IDFR 2024 Kenya

Kenya is the third largest remittance recipient in sub-Saharan Africa and the fifth largest receiving country in Africa. In 2023, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, remittance flows reached almost US$4.2 billion, accounting for nearly 3.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and representing a leading source of foreign exchange. 

According to World Bank data, the value of remittances to Kenya grew over sixty times in the last twenty years (US$65 million in 2003) and sixfold in the last fifteen years (US$667 million in 2008). 

 

Celebrating Successes

Kenya has been recognised as a global champion in terms of financial inclusion since its mobile money revolution in 2007.

Over 84 per cent of the adult population has access to financial services.  

Remittances, especially digital remittances, are growing steadily, leveraging the Kenyan digital financial landscape. 

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is leading efforts to enable the remittances industry environment.   

  • Since 2021, CBK has released monthly data regarding inflow value, disaggregated by the largest corridors.  
  • In 2022, the Bank published the first Diaspora Remittance Survey, providing initial granular insights from the senders.  
  • In 2022, CBK launched the National Payments Strategy 2022-25, which has dedicated sections to enhancing cross-border payments. 
  • In the last 18 months, CBK granted licenses to 6 new money transfer operators, for a total of 24 operators. 

 Kenya has a clear and well-defined regulatory environment for remittances, complimented by a well-developed payment system that provides effective interoperability between all financial service providers and fosters a competitive remittance market.    

Kenya has well-established civil registration and national identification systems, and 91 per cent of people have a national ID.   

The Kenyan Government established The State Department for Diaspora Affairs (SDDA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has been rebranded as the Ministry of Foreign & Diaspora Affairs. The new department is currently incorporated under the Office of The Prime Cabinet Secretary. Its mandate includes specific references to supporting remittances and diaspora investments in Kenya.  

 

Leave No One Behind

However, there is still more to do.

The cost to send money to Kenya remains high. The current average cost of sending US$200 to Kenya is 9.15 per cent of the amount sent (World Bank Q4 2023). This figure is above the SDG‑recommended 3 per cent and the average cost for sub‑Saharan Africa (7.90 per cent, World Bank Q4 2023) and other intra‑African corridors.

 While financial inclusion access in Kenya is at an all-time high, financial health has declined sharply between 2016 and 2021. There is room to leverage remittances and adjacent products (savings, credit, insurance, etc), especially in rural areas for vulnerable groups (women, youth and refugees). 

The Central Bank of Kenya remains dedicated to listening and responding to the needs of the industry and continue to strengthen the enabling environment for remittances in 2024 with:   

  •  The plan is to undertake the National Household Survey to collect insights from the remittance receivers, informing public policy and inspiring the private sector to address unmet financial needs.  

As a champion country of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), Kenya highlights remittances as a priority area within the GCM three-year National Development Plan.  

Join us, and let us work together, one family at a time, to digitalize remittances, thereby promoting financial inclusion and cost reduction and leaving no one behind.  

 

Provisional agenda

08:00 – 09:00 Registration and Welcome Coffee
09:00 – 09:15 Welcome Remarks
  • Mariatu Kamara, Country Director, IFAD
09:15 – 09:45 Opening Remarks
  • Dr Kamau Thugge, Governor, The Central Bank of Kenya (TBC)
  • Roseline K. Njogu, Principal Secretary, State Dept for Diaspora Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs (TBC)
09:45 – 10:30 Celebrating Successes on “Cost Reduction, Digitalisation & Financial Inclusion”

Speakers:

  • Dr Shem Ochuodho, Global Chair, Kenya Diaspora Alliance
  • Winny C. Rutto-Too, Director – Solutions and Commercialization for Visa Direct, Visa Andrew Kabeke, General Manager – International banking and payments, Equity Bank MODERATOR
  • Sandra YAO, Cross- Border and Payment Expert

Q&A

10:30 – 11:15 How to“Leave No One Behind”

Speakers:

  • Fridah Kibuko Gaceri, WIDU Kenya Country Coordinator, GIZ
  • Barry Cooper, Technical Director, Cenfri
  • Killian Clifford, Migrant Financial and Economic Empowerment, IOM

Moderator:

  • David Berno, Remittances and Inclusion Digital Finance Officer, IFAD

Q&A

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee break and Group Picture
11:45 – 1:05 Unleashing the potential of SACCOs to serve remittance users in rural areas of Kenya

Findings from the Research project

  • FSD Kenya

Q&A

1:05 – 1:15 Closing Remarks
1:15 – 2:00 Lunch and Departure