Paving the way for Kenyans in the diaspora to thrive

In the fast-paced world of today, many Kenyans working abroad yearn for a seamless connection to their roots, not just emotionally, but one that is financially rewarding as well.

As a result, financial institutions in the country are increasingly becoming innovative in today’s digital era, rolling out services that help bridge the geographical gap and offer products tailored to the unique needs of Kenyans in the diaspora.

In doing so, the lenders are empowering thousands of Kenyans working abroad to save, invest, and contribute significantly to the growth of their home country.

For many skilled Kenyans moving abroad, the “Kwaheri Kenya” sign at East Africa’s busiest airport, the JKIA, these words may symbolize a temporary farewell, but for investment-savvy nationals, it’s a portal to secured opportunities and financial independence.

The need for new and better earning opportunities as well as the pursuit of a brighter future are driving thousands of young and skilled Kenyans to seek career openings beyond the borders of East Africa’s largest economy.

According to the government, Kenya’s ongoing collaborations with foreign countries have opened doors to over 300,000 job opportunities for skilled Kenyans.

Kenya’s diplomatic relations are paving the way for bilateral labour agreements, giving the green light for thousands of Kenyans to explore income-earning opportunities in Germany, Israel, United Arab Emirates, oil-rich Saudi Arabia among other countries facing labour shortages.

Job opportunities and diaspora remittances: A two-fold triumph

According to the government, Germany is seeking 250,000 workers from Kenya. At the same time, Israel is offering thousands of positions in agriculture while Serbia presents another destination for Kenyas interested in the construction and services sector.

What’s more, oil-rich Saudi Arabia is actively seeking to hire 2,500 health care workers from Kenya.

As Kenya emerges as a prime pool of professional, skilled, and semi-skilled labour, Absa Bank Kenya sees the potential for its diaspora banking services to make a significant impact, and drive value among thousands of young Kenyan professionals.

In the 12 months ending December 2023, Kenyans working abroad remitted a historic Kes670 billion, reflecting an increase of Kes25.9 billion compared to the Kes644.8 billion recorded in a corresponding period in 2022.

“Remittance inflows reached an all-time high of $4.19 billion (Kes670 billion) in 2023, compared to $4.03 billion (Kes644.8 billion) in 2022, reflecting an increase of 4.0 percent,” says the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK)

This signifys not only the financial support from Kenyans abroad but also the increasing benefit of exporting the country’s skilled labour.

The Central Bank of Kenya’s figures highlight the shift, with diaspora remittances surpassing major forex earners such as tourism, tea and coffee exports.

Absa’s trailblazing diaspora banking offering

The surge in remittances is igniting competition among financial institutions with Absa Bank Kenya stirring the market.

Absa Bank Kenya diaspora banking is emerging as a key driver, simplifying financial transactions for Kenyans abroad. For instance, the Pan-African bank’s digital platform offers a seamless onboarding process, making it efficient for both existing customers and non-customers to meet their banking, savings, investments, and payment needs.

Absa’s digital technology innovation aligns with its goal of unlocking the full economic potential of thousands of Kenyans abroad. Whether in other African countries, the Middle East, the United States of America (US), or Europe, Absa Bank Kenya provides a user-friendly platform for transacting, accessing savings, and exploring competitive foreign exchange rates—all at the fingertips of their diaspora customers.

“Absa Diaspora customers will also have an opportunity to access savings and payment options at competitive foreign exchange rates at the comfort of their smartphones, tablets, or computers, beyond supporting their friends and loved ones back at home,” Absa Bank Managing Director and CEO Abdi Mohamed noted in September when the lender expanded its financial services to Kenyans in the diaspora through its existing digital platform.

A future of financial empowerment

Absa Bank Kenya’s diaspora banking solutions are poised to become a game-changer for Kenyans working abroad. By embracing digital technology and offering people-centred services and products.

Increasingly, Absa is turning from not just a bank; to a partner in the financial journey of thousands of Kenyans living and working in the diaspora.

As the diaspora community continues to grow, Absa Bank Kenya remains poised to unlock opportunities, foster financial growth, and turn into a trusted companion for Kenyans globally.

With Absa, the “Kwaheri Kenya” sign at the JKIA evolves into a symbol, not of departure, but of a thriving financial connection that spans continents.

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