October 5, 2023


Saudi Arabia has now surpassed the UK to become the second largest source of diaspora payments to Kenya

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Kenya to Saudi Arabia migration boosts diaspora remittances

Kenya to Saudi Arabia migration boosts diaspora remittances

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Kenya, Khalid Abdullah All-Salman (left)

The mutual benefits of labour migration from Kenya to Saudi Arabia were underscored by the significant contribution of remittances from the Middle East’s largest economy, data from the last eight months shows.

Kenyans living and working in Saudi Arabia have have now overtaken those living in the United States to become the biggest drivers of growth in cash wired back home.

Sh8.46 billion remitted to Kenya

Remittances from Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly two-thirds of the growth in diaspora inflows for the first eight months of the year, the latest official data show.

Kenyans in Saudi Arabia sent home $57.16 million (Sh8.46 billion) in the eight months to the end of August compared to $245.95 million (Sh36.4 billion) for the same period in 2022 an increase of 30.28 percent.

Saudi Arabia surpasses UK as largest source of diaspora remittances

Saudi Arabia has now surpassed the UK to become the second largest source of diaspora payments to Kenya, contributing 62.27 percent of remittances totaling $91.79 million growth in total flows.

Despite the United States accounting for 56.18 percent of total remittances for the period, the total showed a 0.72 percent decline to $1.55 billion (Sh229.99 billion).

Total inflows from Kenyans abroad grew at their slowest rate since 2010. Overall inflows from the diaspora increased just 3.43 percent, or $91.79 million (Sh13.61 billion, where $1 is equivalent to Sh148), in the review period to nearly $2.77 billion (Sh409.41 billion).

Saudi Arabia to employ 500,000 Kenyans says Ruto

President William Ruto is now set to fly to Saudi Arabia in November, to sign an agreement in which the two countries have agreed to employ 500,000 Kenyans.

Speaking at Deliverance Church in Langata, President Ruto said the employment opportunities will not include domestic work but rather professional and skilled jobs.

Safe and orderly migration

In August Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection, Florence Bore hosted a bilateral meeting between the two countries attended by key figures including Ambassador Khalid Abdullah Al-salman of Saudi Arabia and various Ministry officials, aimed at enhancing safe and orderly labour migration.

The meeting showcased the commitment of both countries to streamline labour migration through frameworks like the Labour Agreement on Recruitment of Domestic Workers, and discussions about a Bilateral Labour Agreement covering all categories of migrant workers. The establishment of labour attache offices and utilisation of electronic platforms, were some of the initiatives discussed to ensure safe and productive migration.


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