Kenyatta urges use of technology to lower cost of diaspora remittances

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed the government will be negotiating with financial institutions to make remittances to the country easier and cheaper, and urged the adoption of technology to bring down costs.

Kenyatta told Kenyans living and working in Doha, Qatar the government would look into issues affecting Kenyans working abroad, among them unscrupulous employment agents who take advantage of Kenyan job seekers abroad, and high remittance charges.

“This is something that we are taking seriously and we are putting mechanisms to protect the interests of Kenyans working outside our borders,” Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta said utilising existing technological channels will go a long way into lowering cash transfer costs.

“The technology is available, what we need is to ensure that our Kenyan banks can work with other countries where Kenyans are employed to see how they can send their money home at the least possible expense,” he said.

Kenyans currently rely on channels such as Moneygram and Western Union to send money home. M-Pesa and recent entrant into the market Equity Bank also serve Kenyans living in the UK.

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