Complementary Currencies for 
Sustainable Development in Kenya: 
The Case of the Bangla-Pesa

This paper is a report on the development of a complementary currency system that allows Kenyans in informal settlements to trade goods and services and meet sustainable development objectives. The system in this report, Bangla-Pesa, uses a ‘collaborative credit’ model through a network of local business, whose owners often struggle to meet their basic needs (also known as ‘mutual credit’). The paper documents the reasons for its creation, how it was launched, the immediate positive benefits upon launch, and some of the difficulties faced. Bangla-Pesa is shown to have facilitated, upon its launch, exchanges of roughly 50 Euros in value per day among 109 businesses, which is projected to raise living standards in the community primarily through the utilization of excess business capacity. After only a week of circulation – Bangla-Pesa represented an estimated 22% total trade among community members. This system’s implementation and governance model are detailed with the aim of improving upon and replicating the model for future sustainable development programs.

William O. Ruddick, Morgan A. Richards, and Jem Bendell

IJCCR 2015 Ruddick et al

To cite this article: Ruddick, W., Richards, M. and Bendell, J. (2015) ‘Complementary Currencies for Sustainable Development in Kenya: The Case of the Bangla-Pesa’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 18-30  <>  ISSN  1325-9547