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Egypt Explores Barter System for Kenya’s Tea Import Amid Dollar Shortage

Egypt, facing a shortage of dollars, is pursuing a barter arrangement to secure tea supplies from Kenya.
09.11.23 | Source: Ventures Africa

Egypt is reportedly considering a barter arrangement with Kenya in order to secure tea supplies, due to a dollars shortage hindering the import of this commodity. The proposition made to Kenya is to trade goods produced within Egypt in exchange for tea. The shortage of dollars in Egypt's market has led to tea supplies being held up in Mombasa port. Notably, Kenya's Treasury Secretary, Njuguna Ndung’u has cited Egypt's ambassador in saying that the country is unable to obtain its tea supplies due to the dollar shortage. This has led to the proposition of a barter trade, with the words, 'We’ll get your tea and you also come and decide what you get from us'. Currency depreciation and dollar scarcity have plagued several African nations, including Egypt and Kenya. With nearly half of all global trade transactions and global loans being made in the dollar, a scarcity of this currency can impact trade and escalate the cost of debts. The article also touches on the historical basis of the barter trade system in Africa and mentions a similar system being employed in modern Europe, known as INSTEX, which allows for trade between European enterprises and Iran.