Kangemi-Pesa is launching on April 4th 2015! After six months of preparation the Kangemi Businessness Network has reached over 100 members-including small shops, tailors, teachers, suppliers, resalers, restaurants and much more. Each member on the launch day will be allotted 400 Kangemi-Pesa of which 200 goes toward a community fund to pay for trash collection and other community efforts. The Kangemi-Pesa is backed by the goods and services of the community.
Along with Bangla-Pesa, first launched in 2013 and Gatina-Pesa launched in 2014, Kangemi-Pesa is the third of what will be six community currencies trading in Kenya by the end of this year. Kangemi-Pesa's introduction and launch was suported by Lush Cosmetic. Neighboring Gatina-Pesa in Kawangware will be tradable with Kangemi-Pesa. These business networks form the core of a decentralized banking system for Nairobi County. Coming soon are currencies in Kibera as well as two more in Mombasa County. We are also excited to be supporting the implementation of programs in South Africa and are looking forward to a community currency being launched there in May!
Experiences from Community Currency users remind us of why these programs are important. John Wacharia has a small Kinyozi (Barber shop), and when there was a system wide power outage for three days, he told us, "Bangla-Pesa allowed me to provide for my family, eat and survive when I could no longer work". These programs form a buffer system against unstable markets by allowing people to trade their goods and services even when they don't have Kenyan shillings. So far each one of these currency programs creates an additional 3 million shillings of trade each year. Networked together, hundreds of these programs could increase the GDP by more than a Billion dollars.