Remittances Weak Cover for Shilling
The shilling has largely remained stable in the recent past against major international currencies such as the US dollar, Sterling pound and the euro, partly helped by strong diaspora remittances.
Parliamentary economic and fiscal advisory team has warned that the act of Kenya is relying on the diaspora dollar to keep the shilling stable faces a high risk in the days ahead.
Remittance inflows rose by 38.55 percent hitting $2.7 billion in 2018. Recently, this played a crucial role in building Kenya’s foreign stock exchange reserves for buffer during times when the shilling is under pressure.
“Though diaspora remittances have grown significantly in the past, they are not reliable as a source of foreign exchange,” the unit within the National Assembly that advises legislators on financial, budgetary and economic matters says in a report released last week.
“Focus should, therefore, be on attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as diversifying and growing the country’s exports.”
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, Kenya still falls behind Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania in attracting FDI’s despite its developed economy in the region.
Nairobi recorded Sh67.05 billion in 2017 which is a 71.79 percent increase from Sh39.03 billion recorded in 2016. Ethiopia recorded Sh360.29 billion, Tanzania Sh120.09 billion and Uganda recording Sh70.06 billion.
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