Hon. Paul Simba Arati MP Dagoretti - North

Nairobi's Dagoretti North MP. Hon. Paul Simba Arati will be attending the launch of Gatina-Pesa in October. Besides support from local chiefs, having the interest of the area MP means a lot in terms of political endorsement for the first sister currency to Bangla-Pesa in Kenya.

It's not often that a community realizes they have a wealth of untapped supply and demand for local goods and services and can create their own medium of exchange to match them. With Bangla-Pesa having traded roughly over 2 million shillings worth of goods and service since it's relaunch in November last year, this first attempt to duplicate the program in Nairobi gives us hope that regional economies built from the ground up are not only possible but inevitable.

Meanwhile we're working hard to spell out good implementation strategies and standards for such programs, so that marginalized communities around the world can take action.

In Nairobi we've got a long way to go in terms of registering enough small businesses to reach a critical mass before launch but the team is making a huge effort. Richard Ogolla is leading the registration efforts and doing a great job. While schools have been the heart of the network in Kawangware Richard has reached out to boda-bodas, maize millers, and so many different kinds of businesses. Dramas are being prepared to explain to people how the program works. The community's designs of the Gatina-Pesa have gone to the printers in Germany and with a little bit more push for awareness we're looking forward to a powerful launch. As Morgan Richards would say - we're cautiously optimistic.