November 14, 2021

Dollar dominance back on agenda in DR Congo

DR Congo has revived a long-standing dream of promoting the national currency and sidelining the dollar to regain control over key economic levers.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s economy became informally “dollarised” several decades ago under the dictatorship of Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko, whose chaotic rule bred four-digit inflation.

Today, the Congolese franc and the US dollar co-exist, but the greenback remains massively dominant.

The dollar is used in major contracts, business transactions and the bank accounts of the well-heeled, and even accepted by shopkeepers and in cash machines.

“The US dollar is the common currency, just as English is the common language,” said a vendor in “Le Chateau”, the nickname for a small street in Kinshasa’s business district studded with the umbrellas of money-changers.

The use of the dollar tamed hyperinflation, but also sapped the government’s room…

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