2014 has been an intense year developing the structures to allow community currency programs to one day become accessible across Africa. Besides our currency programs we have also worked with hundreds of street living youth in Kenya, to help them reintegrate with society. We're looking forward to 2015!
In 2014 we:
- continued to monitor the first and now vibrant community currency program in Kenya. Looking back, our first award winning pilot in 2010 Eco-Pesa gave us the tools to implement and develop Bangla-Pesa starting in 2012 Via mutual credit backing and circulating vouchers. Bangla-Pesa has enabled over 3 million shillings worth of trade in an impoverished informal settlement in Mombasa. We've measured as much as an 80% increase in sales revenue in the community during poor market conditions, through better utilization of excess capacity and interconnectedness between small over 300 informal businesses. We published a paper on this here.
- Set a legal precedent by defending our programs in court.
- enabled networks of businesses to save Kenyan Shillings for investment and cooperative enterprises.
- duplicated Bangla-Pesa now in Nairobi's Kawangware informal settlement with Gatina-Pesa (named after Gatina location where it is centered.) There are 4 schools in Mombasa and 4 so far in Nairobi accepting community currency for school fees, helping to raise and stabilize teachers salaries.
- established community currency as a low cost innovation that can be spread to communities across Africa
- collaborated with and trained the FLOW team in South Africa to implement in two municipalities in South Africa, which will launch community currencies in mid 2015. The team in South Africa led by John Ziniades and Anna Cowen from Cape Town are doing amazing work. The teams of FLOW Ambassadors that they are creating to help implement these programs along with their support from local municipalities really set them apart from other CC programs.
- presented community currencies at an international
conference organized by FMDV for innovative funding methods for African Cities.
In 2015 we will:
- Form a foundation to help establish legislation, expand research and implement more community currency programs.
- Start another 4 currencies in Kenya (2 in Nairobi and 2 more in Mombasa Counties) Thanks to Lush Cosmetics and DOEN!
- Assist in 2 more currencies being implemented in South Africa
- Assist local government to be able to monitor and manage community currency programs.
- We hope - find the support to create an office for East Africa promoting community currency programs.