President Ruto’s call for East African countries to use local currencies instead of the dollar has gained support in the East African Parliament (EAC). The use of dollars in trade exchanges across East Africa has been a long-standing issue, and according to EALA MPs, has negatively affected the region’s economies by undermining the fluidity of commercial exchanges.
The resolution recommending the EAC use local currencies to boost cross-border trade was introduced by David Ole Sankok, a Kenyan member of the East African Legislative Assembly on June 21, 2023.
The aim is to encourage the EAC’s council of ministers and partner states to dump the dollar in settling cross-border trades, in a process known as de-dollarisation. This move would increase intra-Africa trade and bolster economies across the region, as per David Ole Sankok.
William Ruto, President of Kenya since September 2022, has been critical of African leaders’ lack of action towards addressing disparities in economic exchanges with the West.
He has been particularly vocal about using local currencies in cross-border trade among African nations, as he believes the use of the dollar present a major obstacle to the growth of intra-African trade. President Ruto’s stance on the matter has garnered significant attention from political and economic leaders across the region and beyond. Ever since, he has been referred to as the “new Ghadafi“.