Nairobi, September 9th 2021 – Credit Bank PLC has entered into a partnership deal with the Kenya Diaspora Alliance through which the bank will provide a bouquet of solutions in order to empower Kenyans living abroad to invest back home, safely and confidently.
Speaking during the official signoff of the partnership agreement, Credit Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Betty Korir, noted that remittances from the diaspora have grown exponentially over the years, overtaking global investors through their direct impacts on local investments. Ms. Korir attributed this to the tremendous shift towards digital transformation within the financial sector.
“The daggers have been drawn and the battlefield for customers in the banking sector is now being fought on the digital front,” said Ms. Korir. “Thanks to advancement in technology, consumer preference keeps on changing as does need for us to transform, digitally, by offering solutions which address all our customers.”
According to the latest Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data, remittances by Kenyans living abroad rose by 20.3 per cent in the 12 months which led up July 2021. This amounted to Sh376.5 billion as compared to Sh317.2 billion in the preceding 12 months to July 2020 with North America, and the United States of America, in particular, making for the largest source and accounting for 58.3 per cent of remittance inflows into Kenya.
“As Kenyans living abroad continue to invest locally, we seek to provide a seamless process, thus enhancing the customer experience and becoming the go-to bank when it comes to international money remittances,” Ms. Korir added.
The Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) and its precursors were instrumental in introducing and popularizing technology, notably information technology (IT) and the Internet, in particular, not just in Kenya, but in Sub-Sahara Africa as a whole.
“I am delighted to seal this partnership, today,” responded Dr. Shem Ochuodo, Global Chairperson of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance. “To my mind,” he went on to say, “it heralds yet another milestone, exactly 25 years since the internet was unveiled in this country. The diaspora has undoubtedly become the new Sherriff in town, as the highest foreign exchange earner for the country.”
Dr. Ochuodo opined that we, on the continent, have barely scratched the surface of the diaspora’s potential, both financially as well as intellectually. Remittances constitute 4% of Kenya’s GDP; in at least two African countries, it constitutes as much as 15-35% of the GDP. The contemporary African diaspora remits US$ 80 billion every year, according to the World Bank.
“Yet the historical diaspora is an even bigger resource”, Dr Ochuodho qualified. “African Americans alone have an estimated spending capacity of US$ 1.2 trillion, and a number of their business leaders have repeatedly said they want to do business with Africa and invest some of it in Kenya. Partnerships like the one we are signing today will go a long way towards paving the pathways to attract and retain such investments.”
Credit Bank PLC has also announced that it will continue to invest heavily in digital innovation to ensure that, as many Kenyans continue to cross borders in search of better opportunities for themselves and their families, cash remittances will be made much easier, so as to facilitate easy transfers.
The Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) is the lead Diaspora organization in Kenya today bringing together over 44 registered organizations in the Diaspora and a multitude of other individual members.
As the conversation of leveraging Diaspora remittances for the socio-economic development of Africa, we are exploring strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations seeking to make lasting generational impact on the continent. Among the areas of focus we see diaspora as playing a critical role more specifically in the socio-economic emancipation of African Businesses, women and youth.
KDA is a member of the AU ECOSOCC as the representative for the East Africa Region. In this capacity we understand the continental focus and are able to cascade the issues to the region even as we escalate regional matters. We have already so far been involved in the formation of Africa Diaspora Alliance (AfDA) and our role in the ECOSOCC has allowed us to escalate diaspora issues there. In collaboration with governments and other regional, national, private sector and diaspora formations, in December, 2020, we successfully hosted the 1st Africa Diaspora Symposium.