In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the race is on for US dollars at the expense of the local currency, the Congolese franc, which is gradually loosing its value against the greenback.
Last week, street traders exchanged the dollar for 995 Congolese Francs in the capital Kinshasa. In some places, the dollar was even worth more at 1,000 Congolese Francs. The franc had maintained a remarkable stability of around 920-930 Francs to the US dollar for several years.
The influence of the dollar on the Congolese economy is real. Some people are even speaking of dollarization of the Congolese economy.
The slump in prices of major minerals like copper has negatively impacted the Congolese economy with mining in most regions in the country grinding to a halt.
Currently DRC’s services sector with mobile telephony in particular has been the only industry that has been propping the economy
The volatility of the exchange rate of the local currency has in the meantime led to soaring inflation.
Prices of essential commodities have been rising and cost of living has become increasingly difficult for Congolese.