On the 29th March 2022, the Democratic Republic of Congo officially joined the East Africa Community regional bloc as its 7th partner state, this was a long waited as it opens up the East African community to the new and uncharted territory of West Africa and the Atlantic Ocean, making the trading square area of the EAC community trading bloc increase in route from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
In this article, we will evaluate the opportunities that digital currencies can present to DRC as it trades with the other member states.
In the 19th Ordinary Heads of partners’ state summit held recently, it was noted that this “new baby” brings a new trading world to the East African community making the trading block, the most attractive trading blocs in Africa. Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC is previously known as Zaire or the Congo has a population of approx 90 million people, a total surface area of 905,567 SQ Millimeter, and is home to Congo Rainforest; the second largest Forest after the Amazon.
The country brings various trade opportunities, especially in the mining sector, probably the only mineral laded pot in the EAC bloc. The country boasts of minerals that include Cobalt ore, Diamond and Copper, with DRC being the biggest producer in the world of Cobalt Ore. With such a laden pot, comes many interested parties and threats, DRC is a country that has seen its fair share of civil wars, is known as an insecure country with Guerilla rebels and religious extremist hiding in the vast forest.
What opportunities doe’s Crypto currency trading, use of Crypto currency and course if an East Africa Digital coin present to the economic environment of DRC and make it efficient as a trading partner?
First of all, political instability and civil wars in DRC have resulted in the local currency, the Congolese Franc to depreciate against the Kenya Shilling and the dollar. This makes it difficult for traders to carry out cross border trade efficiently with the neighboring countries and other EAC partner states. Crypto currency provides a solution against drastic and high inflation rates. Crypto currency and digital coins work in an unregulated environment are digital and are not controlled by the central bank. By allowing trading and payment options that include digital coins, traders will trade efficiently without being affected by inflation.
Secondly, DRC is a country rich in rare Art and booming music industry. Congolese are known for their Lingala style of music with many internationally renowned musicians and artists coming from the region. The government can capitalize on and promote the Art and musical scene by allowing their artist and musician to display their rare work of art and music as NFTs. NFT AKA; Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, and in-game items. The musicians will participate in online public galleries and actions such as Open Sea, Super Rare, Raible, Mintable and Enjin and earn commission from the sales of their work. A certain percentage of commission earned can be invested back to the country via the ministry in charge of sports and culture.
Thirdly, a mineral-laden country, DRC presents various opportunities for international trade which is sometimes limited by Inflation, local currency instability and Central Bank regulations. Crypto currency presents various opportunities that can help the government mitigate against the above limitations. With the majority of the mines being owned by foreign private companies or investors, using crypto currency as an alternative payment option the prices of these rare commodities will not be affected by inflation making the country earn more in foreign exchange.
Fourthly, DRC is an ecological wonder country in which the country can earn foreign exchange from tourism. Tourists can visit the country to see the beaches, and forests and of course learn about the local culture. With the introduction of Crypto currency as a payment option, more and more tourists will visit as they will not be limited to only paying in local currency.
As a country with a young population, there is a need to provide employment opportunities. Crypto currency platforms create opportunities for young people to trade and also software designers to come up with new platforms that can be used by the local population and of course, can integrate with the local payment options.
Having understood the various opportunities that are presented by Crypto currency use in the country, it’s good to note that this relatively new payment option method is widely used in the neighboring countries and member countries. In Kenya for instance where, the Central bank of Kenya has not yet regularized the use of Crypto currency as a payment method, yet the majority of the young people are actively trading and receiving payments in the forms of Crypto currency with the most common payment currency being USDT.
The world is a global village with multinationals and other companies choosing to set their offices and headquarters in East Africa, selecting remote workers from East Africa because of their cultural diversity and education levels, there is a need for the young Congolese to come up to speed with the various opportunities that are currently presented in the remote working space. These young people have the advantage of being Multilingual with French being their official language and the fact that DRC has more than 4 other widely spoken languages that are also understood in the EAC community. This places them in an advantageous position to qualify for this many open remote opportunities as translators.
As the newest member of the EAC runs against time, as directed by the EAC, to come up with its economic and financial structure to be at PAR with the other East Africa Community members and be allowed to participate in trade with the other members in other African regional trading blocs, its priority should be introducing and regulating Crypto currency as a payment option so that its citizens can benefit.
In the mind of DRC economists and financial analysts, should be the many opportunities that can and will be offered by the use of digital currency as payment option and the new trade gateways that it will create.