African countries must stop use of dollars in continental trade

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William Ruto

The President of Kenya, William Ruto, has spoken against the use of the United States Dollar (USD) during trade between African countries.

Ruto said traders from Kenya and Djibouti are facilitating trade with the dollar when they could take advantage of the pan-African payment and settlement system (PAPSS) created by Afreximbank. He suggested that African countries should trade with currencies on the continent rather than depend on US legal tender, as traders often have to search for dollars to complete transactions. The President spoke about the dollarization of the African market recently during his address at the Djibouti parliament.

According to Ruto, prioritizing local currencies ahead of the dollar during trading between two African countries will ease trade.  “From Djibouti selling to Kenya or traders from Kenya selling to Djibouti, we have to look for US dollars. How is US dollars part of the trade between Djibouti and Kenya? Why?” Ruto asked during his speech.

He further stated that Kenya is embracing the Afreximbank payment system to ease trade: “That is why Kenya champions the Pan African Payment and Settlement System that is done by our own institution — the Afreximbank.

“Why, members? Why is it necessary for us to buy things from Djibouti and pay in dollars? There is no reason.” Ruto said he isn’t against the use of the dollar for business transactions, but the dollar should be limited to US trades. “We are not against the US dollar. We just want to trade more freely. Let us pay in US dollars what we are buying from the US. But what we are buying from Djibouti, let’s use local currency,” Ruto said.

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