Kenyans in US remit 30% of their KSh1 trillion earnings – US data

Kenyans in the United States contribute up to 25% of their annual earnings through remittances back home, according to statistics obtained from the US Census 2021 data, the data showing that the equivalent of KSh400 billion of the more than KSh1 trillion Kenyans make in the US is repatriated back home.

This accounts for 70% of total diaspora remittances according to Central Bank of Kenya statistics for 2021, when Kenyans in diaspora sent a total of USD3.7 billion back home – a 3% growth from 2020.

This was revealed at the start of the inaugural Minto Conference, a two-day convention hosted by the Minto Foundation, in Dallas, Texas, founded by Risper Abraham.

Speaking during the opening session of the conference, Professor Kefa Otiso broke down the numbers to the delegates, showing that the number of Kenyans in the US stood at 154,062 persons as per the official US government statistics, 80% of whom are in the labor force. The number does not include children born in the US.

Kenya accounts for the fourth highest number of African continent immigrants in the US after Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ghana; concentrated in Texas, Minnesota, California, Atlanta, New Jersey and Delaware. A significant number of Kenyans are also to be found in the states of Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington and Georgia, among others which have less than 5, 000 Kenyans.

However, according to Prof Otiso, Kenyans are yet to translate their numerical and economic power to seize political power in the US unlike the Nigerians and Ghanaians, who have utilized their numbers to get representatives in elective posts, something that needs to change if Kenyans are to maximize their potential to attain the much-needed unity of purpose, which is the conference theme.

“Start with school boards, city councils, State commissions, State legislatures, and the US Congress,” Prof Otiso advised in his detailed presentation.

“Must commend Huldah Momanyi-Hiltsley for running for Minnesota State Senate in 2022 and Henry Momanyi for running for Brooklyn Park City
Council, West District seat. Why are Africans so active in Minnesota but not Texas where they have higher numbers?

“Political obstacles to be overcome: sojourner mentality, apathy and intimidation, disunity, lack of African immigrant voter data, weak economic base, relatively large non-citizen population, politics is dirty, and contentious relations with African Americans.”



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