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Archive for November, 2011

Reverse remittances

29 Nov

We always talk about sending money to Kenya, which is very understandable because that is the primary reason why most of us are in the Diaspora anyway. With the Kenyan economy beginning to recover, the idea of sending money from Kenya to the UK has become a real possibility and in fact a reality that many of have had to consider as the economic situation in the first world has faced a lot of challenges of late.

First world immigrants have long been propping up family members back home (and by extension, developing-world economies) with remittances. Now they’re asking for the favour to be returned. A new phenomenon of “reverse remittances”—cash flowing backward from developing countries to immigrants in rich nations—is on the rise.

Maybe it is time money transfer companies started focusing on providing a more sustainable service for these immigrants as these remittances are most likely serving as a lifeline to family abroad


Kenyan Diaspora

15 Nov

To their families and loved ones, they are seen as providers; they are the unselfish, giving individuals who have travelled long distances across oceans to find jobs in order to sustain their families by sending money back home on a regular basis.

Their contribution however does exceed development on a personal level. They have aided the erection and are the backbone of NGO’s, political parties, health centres, etc. Remittances have become a powerful force for poverty reduction. It has facilitated concrete development in Kenya on both national and community levels although some of their efforts are unappreciated and without structural support.

Although the number of Kenyans living abroad has increased steadily over the years, it is disappointing to see that the unique strengths and added value of the Kenyan Diaspora have to date not been realised and effectively used.

The obstacles that they face in the Diaspora have adversely affected the volume and quality of contribution to Kenya, so it is only in the interest of the government to start acquainting itself and the Kenyan public with the depth, variety and achievements of the Kenyan Diaspora, as well as sensitizing them of their problems and their expectations from their homeland.


The evolving world of Remittance

08 Nov

If you were to take a quick glance at the different remittance related issues that we have covered over the past few months, you will probably pick up among other things, one recurring motif that runs through every blog post. That is the importance of remittances in alleviating harsh economic situations and sometimes even poverty faced by our families in Kenya.

Remittances are critical to the lives of millions of people in developing countries. Nearly 200 million people live outside their home countries and according to a recent WWB Innovation Brief, official remittances to the developing world now total USD 93 billion per year, making them the second most important resource of external funding in developing countries ahead of capital market flows and external funding for developing countries.

As the average remitter becomes more sophisticated, their needs also begin to change. Remittance has thus become more than just a monthly payment to the developing world that will cover basic expenses. Remittances provide an opportunity for investment, development, financial inclusion, savings, and entrepreneurial innovation, among other things.

Remittance products are therefore an important part of the remittance industry. It is crucial for remittance companies to come up with innovative ways to cater for their evolving clientele, keep up with technological advancements and at the same time remain accessible to the average recipient of remittance money in the developing world.

If you are interested in more than just sending money to Zimbabwe, go check out mukuru.com to get an idea of the innovative products they have on offer!


The Kenyan agricultural sector

05 Nov

Although only 15% of Kenya’s total land area has sufficient fertility and rainfall to be farmed, the agricultural sector continues to dominate the economy. It is the second largest contributor to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), after the service sector.

Kenya is Africa’s leading tea producer, with black tea being the leading foreign exchange earner. Another leading foreign exchange earner in the agricultural sector is coffee which is the third leading earner.

In recent years Kenyan Horticulture has become increasingly prominent ranking in as the third leading agricultural export. The success of the horticulture industry in Kenya has created a variety of investment opportunities for investment opportunities some of which include

  • Fruit processing
  • Seed production and plant propagation
  • Provision of both sea and airfreight

Given its access to the regional market, strategic location, and good standard of living for foreign investors, Kenya makes a perfect investment hub…