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Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Development in Kenya: The Case of the Bangla-Pesa

Submitted to: University of Rotterdam – ISS

William O. Ruddick, Morgan Richards, Jem Bendell, 2013

To download : PDF (180 KiB)

Summary :

This paper is a report on the development of a complementary currency system that allows Kenyans in informal

settlements to trade goods and services and meets sustainable development objectives. The system in this

report, Bangla-Pesa, uses a mutual-credit model through a network of local business, including many whose

owners fall under the extreme poverty line. The paper documents the reasons for its creation, how it was

launched, the immediate positive benefits upon launch, and some of the difficulties faced. Bangla-Pesa is shown to facilitate exchanges of roughly 50 Euros in value per day among 109 businesses, which should raise living standards in the community primarily through the utilization of excess business capacity. After only a week of circulation – Bangla-Pesa helped community members increase sales an estimated 22% through capacity trading. This system’s implementation and governance model are detailed with the aim of improving upon and replicating the model for future sustainable development programs.

Sources :

Unrisd website www.unrisd.org