Nigerians on Twitter have been reacting to Kenyan President William Ruto’s call for African countries to shift away from using the US dollar for intra-continental trade and opt for the use of local currencies for the purposes of buying and selling.
During his address at the Djibouti parliament on Tuesday, Ruto spoke on the need to abandon dependence on the US dollar for trade transactions between African nations.
“From Djibouti selling to Kenya or traders from Kenya selling to Djibouti, we have to look for US dollars. How is US dollars part of the trade between Djibouti and Kenya? Why?” Ruto asked.
Ruto said the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) has provided a mechanism that enables traders within the continent to engage in trade using their respective local currencies — the pan-African payment and settlement system (PAPSS).
The president clarified that the intention is not to oppose the US dollar, but rather to ease trade on the continent.
He suggested that purchases made from the United States can still be settled in US dollars, while transactions with Djibouti and other African nations can be conducted using local currencies.
“That is why Kenya champions the Pan African Payment and Settlement System that is done by our own institution — the Afreximbank. Why, members? Why is it necessary for us to buy things from Djibouti and pay in dollars? There is no reason,” he said.
“We are not against the US dollar. We just want to trade more freely. Let us pay in US dollars what we are buying from the US. But what we are buying from Djibouti, let’s use local currency.”
Reacting to Ruto’s call for a shift from US Dollar in trade, some tweeps have hailed his stan while others think it might be impossible for African countries to do.
A tweep, Legend E said: “We don dey wake up.”
@sayidbakare said: “Honestly, African leaders are waking up, I pray they can fight this war to the end. May the soul of Gadafi rest in peace.”
@itsleeswhag, who also commented, wrote: “African leaders no too wise, this shouldn’t even be a debate.”
“Brilliant move if approved,” @iampkid tweeted.
@anelejavis commented: “Even China can’t do without US dollars.”
“If someone can still ask this question in this day and age shows he knows nothing. Africa has kept themselves vulnerable to the western world, refusing to make themselves a force to reckon with. Try and see if others will accept your currency na, y’all joke too much,” @mercury_davidd reacted.
Osazee Osagie also tweeted: “This was the same message Gaddafi preached for years, he died and didn’t see the vision actualized.”