The Minute Standard


A free-market currency of sorts emerges in Kenya's post-electoral wreckage:

Kenyan phone users do not have monthly phone plans; they pay for prepaid credits (like most of the world). Prior to the election, getting credits was easy—they were available in kiosks, stores, bars, anywhere you could imagine. Yet, these venues all closed shop after the election because of the violence and looting. Credits have become a rare commodity and the price has skyrocketed. Credits have also turned into a currency and people are trading credits for food and medicine. Credits are worth more than the government's currency. Because of difficulties in getting credits to citizens, a service called Pyramid of Peace has popped up to help people send credits to Kenyans.

For more on grassroots activism in Kenya, see this excellent roundup at Global Voices Online.

Bonus link: R.A. Radford's classic account of cigarettes evolving into money in World War II POW camps.