NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya's umbrella body of the banking industry is
encouraging its members to embrace the Chinese Yuan due to the
increasing importance of the Chinese economy globally, officials
said on Monday.
Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) CEO Habil Olaka told journalists
in Nairobi that China has become one of the biggest trading
partners of Kenya.
"As a result, Kenyan banks should facilitate the conversion of
the Chinese Yuan to the Kenya shilling in order to facilitate
the growth of the Sino-Kenyan trade," Olaka said.
The bankers lobby is urging its 43 members as well as
microfinance banks to ensure that Chinese and Kenyan traders can
access the Chinese currency.
Previously, in order for Kenyan traders to buy goods from China,
they had to convert the Kenyan shilling to the foreign currency
such as the U.S. dollars and then convert the dollar to the
Chinese Yuan so that they can pay their Chinese supplier.
Olaka said that the process costs Kenyan traders a lot of fees
in terms of commission.
He noted that the convertibility of the Yuan into the local
currency will also ease the process of the Chinese community
based in Kenya in sending money back to their home country.
A number of banks already have the Chinese Yuan available over
their bank counters.
Olaka noted that the easy convertibility of the Chinese Yuan in
the Kenya shilling is likely to boost the efficiency of the