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DR Congo seeks to curb dollar dominance by fronting use of local currency

A currency trader displays US dollars and Congolese francs at a local market in Kinshasa, Congo, Thursday November 9, 2006.   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Central Bank of Congo (BCC) has mandated that all Electronic Payment Terminals (EPTs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) only accept Congolese francs. This move aims to boost the use of the national currency and reduce reliance on the US dollar, which weakens the franc.

According to the BCC, this measure aims to strengthen the use of the national currency and encourage the population to prefer it for everyday transactions of goods and services. This initiative is part of a series of major reforms launched by Nicolas Kazadi, the former Minister of Finance, aimed at combating the dollarization of the economy and promoting financial inclusion.

Currently, only 13% of EPTs accept Congolese francs, favoring foreign currencies in the dollarized economy. The BCC's new policy supports previous measures requiring prices and state payments to be in the national currency.

Additionally, a "switch monétique" initiative will integrate all bank cards to streamline transactions, regardless of the issuing bank. This policy aims to make dollar transactions more costly than those in francs, encouraging businesses and individuals to use the national currency.

Experts, including economist AL Kitenge, stress that while these measures are positive, ensuring the franc's stability is crucial for long-term success in dedollarizing the economy.

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