DRC to push for own Currency

With the economy on the mend, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has begun a campaign to rebuild the national currency and wean the country off the US dollar. In the 1990s, during the waning days of the brutal regime of dictator Mobuto Sese Seko, hyperinflation that hit 2,000 percent led to the marginalisation of the Congolese franc and the rise of the safehaven greenback. By the end of last year, the dollar accounted for 89 percent of bank deposits and 95 percent of loans, according the country’s central bank. Since that spate of hyperinflation, the dollar has been the currency for savings and major transactions, with the Congolese franc relegated to small retail transactions which are conducted in increasingly worn wads of 500 franc (around $0.50) notes. Since July, the Congo Central Bank has introduced new denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 francs. But these, along with existing franc notes of lower denominations, have been poorly received and small retail businesses shun them.

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