The Impact of Community Based Trade on Poverty Eradication.

Community-based trade can play a significant role in poverty eradication by empowering local communities economically and socially. Trade generally involves the exchange of goods and services. We can refer to such exchange of goods and services when conducted within a defined community as community-based trade.

Community-based trade therefore refers to the exchange of goods, services, and resources within a localised community where individuals and businesses interact closely, often with a strong sense of social cohesion and mutual support. This type of trade is not just transactional; it also reinforces community bonds and enables the creation of a sustainable and vibrant local economy that can ripple through the broader economic activity in any country and impact real economic growth, wealth creation and poverty eradication.  In this post we examine a number key benefits of Community based trade.

At the heart of any trade, is the exchange of value against goods and services. This process needs to be accessible, cost effective and inclusive in oder to have the desired impact on any organised community and on humanity in general. Therefore in order to create tools and processes to tackle poverty within any community we must implement the tools needed to drive seamless exchange of value and and as a result drive trade, wealth creation and overall sustainable economic growth for the benefit of all.

As we examine this concept of community based trade and its potential benefit on community empowerment and poverty eradication, let’s take a closer look at some of the key impacts:

  1. Income Generation: If you live or have grown up in a local farming community for example, you will know fully well that household income for many families depends so much on what they produce and how easily and readily they can sell what they produce in order to generate extra income to meet their day to day household expenditure. The income from Community-based trade often involves small-scale producers and artisans who may have limited access to formal markets. By facilitating direct access to markets, it enables these producers to earn a sustainable income from their goods and services, lifting them out of poverty.
  2. Wealth Distribution: Unlike conventional trade models that may concentrate wealth in the hands of a few intermediaries or corporations, community-based trade tends to distribute wealth more equitably within the local communities. It provides the opportunity for direct sale of products and services by producers within the community to buyers.  This can help reduce income inequality and alleviate poverty by ensuring that more community members benefit from economic activities. The producers are less susceptible to the pressures of selling at low prices as a result of the pressure from the buying power which may be concentrated in the hands of a few intermediaries largely driven by excessive profits.
  3. Skills Development: Engaging in trade activities within their community can provide individuals with valuable skills and knowledge, ranging from production techniques to marketing and business management. These skills enhance their employability and entrepreneurial capabilities, thereby improving their economic prospects and reducing poverty in the long term. This empowers many in the community to consume what they produce and to participate in producing what they need, potentially leading to more specialised production opportunities as the community diversifies the production of of goods and services for sustainable living.
  4. Social Cohesion: Community-based trade fosters a sense of solidarity and cooperation among community members. By working together towards common economic goals, individuals develop stronger social networks and mutual support systems. This social cohesion not only enhances the resilience of communities but also contributes to poverty reduction by providing a safety net for vulnerable members. This could also have far reaching consequences to our environment as Community-based trade often entails shorter supply chains. Goods and services are produced and consumed locally, which significantly reduces transportation requirements and, consequently, the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transport. This local focus also encourages producers to adopt more sustainable practices as they cater to consumers who are directly impacted by their production methods.
  5. Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Many community-based trade initiatives focus on promoting traditional crafts, agriculture, and cultural practices. By valuing and preserving indigenous knowledge and traditions, these initiatives not only contribute to the cultural richness of communities but also provide sustainable livelihoods for artisans and producers. A simple example is the existence of staple traditional foods in many communities. For these traditional meals which are in large part a cultural heritage to be preserved, the local community must take ownership of its production to maintain authenticity, cultural richness and heritage. This preservation of cultural heritage can be instrumental in poverty eradication, particularly in marginalised or indigenous communities and can create other opportunity for example in showcasing the cultures and traditions to drive education and tourism.
  6. Environmental Sustainability: Community-based trade models often prioritize environmental sustainability by promoting organic farming practices, traditional handicraft techniques, and other eco-friendly methods of production. By conserving natural resources and minimising environmental degradation, these initiatives contribute to the long-term resilience of communities and help safeguard livelihoods against environmental shocks to better preserve our natural environment for future generations.
  7. Self-sufficiency: Providing the tools and processes to drive community based trade has far reaching economic implications which cannot be covered in detail in a simple post like this one. Imagine where Communities are organised to produce  what they need and to consume what they produce. Imagine the capacity for self sufficiency in such communities and their capacity to survive external supply shocks. Imagine the level of innovation and creativity that such self sufficient and resilient culture can create and the capacity to drive local economic activity which ripple through other communities and through nations. Local trade systems can increase a community’s resilience to global economic shocks. By diversifying their economic activities and relying more on local production, communities are less susceptible to international market fluctuations that can lead to price spikes or supply disruptions.
  8. Quality preservation and health benefits: A community that produces their own food for local consumption is more likely to to more mindful of the overall quality and conditions under which the food is produced. This applies not only to food but extends to every area of local production to meet local community needs. Community-based can therefore result in higher-quality goods. Producers who know their consumers are likely to maintain high standards, and local consumers can easily obtain information about how their goods and services are produced. This transparency fosters trust and can lead to higher consumer satisfaction and impact on both economic outcomes  and long term health of the community.


Overall, community-based trade has the potential to be a powerful tool for poverty eradication by fostering inclusive economic development, empowering marginalized groups, promoting social cohesion, preserving cultural heritage, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

However, for its full potential to be realised, supportive policies, infrastructure, market linkages and the tools for seamless exchange of value across the community are crucial to enable communities to fully participate in and benefit from trade activities.

Now imagine the impact at  national level in any Country or across the continent of Africa, when organised local communities become the hub for broader sustainable economic activity. Imagine the paradigm  shift from generational poverty to sustainable generational wealth creation. The irony is that we often look for answers to come from outside and some times forget that we have all the tools to start creating the kind of economic environment we want to see.  Whether we collectively acknowledge, recognise our collective role in shaping our economic environment now or at some other time in the future – the reality is that each and everyone of us is part of our local economy and we are the productive force to shape it.

Why African Countries Use the USD to Trade With Each Other Instead of Their Own Currencies

The trade or exchange of goods and services between any two Countries is classed as international trade.

International trade therefore may for example involve the purchase and sale of goods and services by companies in different countries. Consumer goods, raw materials, food, and machinery all are bought and sold in the international marketplace.

Through international trade, countries can expand their markets and access goods and services that may otherwise not be available. As a result of international trade, the market is more competitive. This ultimately results in more competitive pricing and can sometimes enable consumers to access  cheaper products and services.

If a company in one Country orders a product for example from another Country, they will receive delivery of the product against a payment.

The method and mechanism of payment is therefore critical to the trade choices that any Company will have to make. Availability of funds to settle the invoice is an important consideration and the ease of access to cleared funds would be a key consideration. This can be affected by the availability and ease of access to credit to finance the purchase. Therefore a key consideration would be the ease of access and transfer of funds to the supplier.

This means that both ease of access and ease of transmission or transfer are relevant and important in the trade process.

In the realm of international trade, opting for a major foreign currency such as the US Dollar (USD) over national currencies is a common practice and a number of factors or reasons are often sited as the underlying drivers for the practice.

1. Stability and Reliability

The USD is widely regarded for its stability and reliability, attributes that stem from the strong economic and political framework of the United States. African economies, which can sometimes experience significant currency fluctuations due to political instability, economic challenges, or external economic pressures, find a semblance of safety in the USD. Individuals and businesses may view this as counter productive but in the eyes of the participating businesses stability is crucial in minimising both foreign exchange and geopolitical risks including such risks associated with currency devaluations during the course of trade agreements. So whether people like the USD or not and whenever they wish to continue using it to trade or not, the one thing that is clear is that we can not talk away the practice. However African Countries can take actions and measures to minimise the business risks and pave the way for a different informed risk based practics which could see more and more local currencies being used in international trade and more so between the African Countries within the single market. The key challenges of ease of access and ease of transmission or transfer must be addressed through the implementation of an accessible financial transaction infrastructure to drive trade and exchange of value against goods and services. The African Kingdoms Lumi (AKL) is clearly a good contender and there are merits for adopting hybrid approaches involving a combination of underlying currencies or a basket for a more diversified exposure during trade which also offers the much needed stability and reliability.

2. Global Acceptance

The universal recognition of the USD facilitates its use in international trade as it is readily accepted across many Countries by many businesses. For African countries engaged in trade both amongst themselves and with the rest world, having a transaction medium that is globally accepted eliminates complex currency exchange procedures and encourages smoother trade operations. So a real contender for the USD for trade between Countries within the African continent needs to do more than wish away the USD as an instrument of trade. Steps need to be taken to put in place a medium of custody, transmission and acceptance that is easily accessible to individuals and businesses across all the countries within the African continent and the rest of the world.

3. Ease of Access to Credit

Access to credit can be pivotal for developing economies, and often, this credit is more readily available in USD. International financial markets and lenders tend to prefer transactions in US dollars owing to its widespread use and perceived stability. This makes it easier for African countries to obtain the financing necessary for large trade deals and developmental projects through USD denominated credit. This ease of access needs to be extended to continental African Currencies. The current situation is that many African countries do not borrow from each other or at least do so to a much lesser extent when compared to their readiness and willingness to access USD denominated credit to finance international trade transactions. So the ease of access to credit denominated in other African Currencies by businesses in other Countries is rarer and likely more difficult to secure when compared to USD denominated credit. If ease of access to credit can impact the ability to pay for products and services in international trade, then the credit environment and ease of access and transmission of credit and payments denominated in continental African currencies must improve for meaning progress to be attained in their use in fulfilling the settlement of international trade obligations.

4. Influence of Trade Partners

The trading strategies of Africa with major global economies like the US, China, and countries within the European Union also play a significant role. These powerful economies often conduct transactions in USD, influencing and often requiring African nations to keep USD denominated reserves  to facilitate trade without the hindrances of needing currency conversions for every transaction. In order to address any challenges imposed by Trade Partners, African Countries need greater collective influence on the International Trade stage. Such influence will bring greater choice and better and fairer policies including the capacity to influence the currency of choice in their trade transactions. Africa must look inward for solutions to address their trade needs as they embark on trading more with each other within the single African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

5. Reducing Transaction Costs

By unifying transactions under one widely accepted currency such as the African Kingdoms Lumi (AKL) for example, African nations can significantly cut down on the transaction costs that come with currency exchanges. For countries with less robust financial systems, this is a critical strategy for minimising costs and fostering more effective trade partnerships across the continent thereby paving the way for more cost effective trade within the single market.

6. Encouraging Foreign Investment

Using a currency such as the USD makes a country’s market more accessible to investors who might otherwise be hesitant due to concerns about currency risk. This opens up opportunities for direct foreign investment and promotes inflow of capital which is crucial for economic development. However with the wealth of resource across the African Continent, there must be capacity for investment flows from other African Countries without always relying on external investment denominated in USD. This diversification of investment flows could improve the ease of access and use of one continental African currency in other Countries to begin the process of delivering home grown alternatives or adopting the African Kingdoms Lumi to bridge the gap with a viable alternative.

7. Economic Strategies and Monetary Policy

For some African countries, there is a school of thought that using the USD aligns with broader economic strategies and monetary policies aimed at stabilising their own economies. By pegging their currencies to the USD or maintaining large reserves of it, they believe they can help control inflation and manage exchange rates more effectively but this is often an illusion. In the long run, it is ultimately the productive capacity of the economy and its ability to grow and meet the demand for the goods and services it produces that will drive the demand for its currency and inevitably the rate of exchange between the USD and their currency. So quite contrary to the expectation of enjoying economic strategies and monetary policy benefits to maintaining a currency peg with the USD, the developing economies which attempt to do this will leave themselves wide open and remain vulnerable to the real possibility that their local economic dynamics will be driven by foreign economic policies transmitted via the USD where the prevailing interest rates may be completely inappropriate for the local economic environemnt leaving the local monetary authorities completely incapacitated to effect and control their own monetary policies in a manner that is needed for impactful economic growth.



The adoption of the US Dollar by African countries for mutual trade is underpinned by various strategic advantages some of which may have long lost their validity and more options have become available in recent times including the emergence of digital currencies. From enhancing trade stability and reducing operational costs to facilitating easier access to international credit, the USD has been seen for decades by many as a valuable instrument for economic transactions across borders. This practice supports not only the streamlining of trade but also broader economic objectives within the African continent. However this is currently not the only alternative open and available to AFrican Countries. The African Kingdoms Lumi (AKL) is a sound alternative.  Strategic steps and actions however need to be taken to embrace and affect the use of available alternatives for the benefit of continental African economic growth and long term prosperity.

The Value of Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion involves enabling accessibility and affordability of financial services for all individuals and businesses. This is crucial for fostering economic development and reducing poverty worldwide. Financial inclusion is integral to creating a society that offers equal opportunities for everyone to access financial services. It entails providing a pathway for people, particularly the underserved or those excluded from the banking system, to engage in trade and to participate in formal financial sector with the capability to exchange goods and services seamlessly. The benefits of financial inclusion are vast, affecting individuals, families, and entire communities. Some of these benefits can be summarised to include the following;

1. Empowering Individuals

One of the primary values of financial inclusion is the empowerment it gives to individuals. It allows people from all walks of life, especially those in rural or underprivileged areas, to access essential cost effective transactional  services to enable them to buy what they need and sell what they produce. With these services, individuals can better manage financial emergencies, plan future financial endeavours, invest in educational pursuits, and bolster their overall economic security and resilience and actively participate in tackling societal poverty.

2. Promoting Economic Growth

Financial inclusion not only assists individuals but also serves a broader economic function by promoting substantial economic growth. It does this by providing individuals and small businesses access to participate in the real economy, encouraging them to invest in new ventures or expand existing ones. Increased business activities mean more employment opportunities, higher income levels, and an overall boost in the economic development of a community, region or country.

3. Reducing Poverty

Access to financial services plays a crucial role in poverty alleviation. The simple opportunity to access transactional services for cost effective trade for example empowers those with goods and services to sell to do so cost effectively and to create value for themselves instead of being economically dependent. It enables poorer members of society to earn, save and borrow, which can be used to enhance their living conditions, start or expand a business, and secure a more stable financial future. This shift can break the cycle of poverty and lead to a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities in a way that is accessible to all.

4. Gender Participation

Financial inclusion also significantly impacts gender equality and empowerment. By providing financial services to women, they gain more control over their finances, which enhances their decision-making capabilities within the household and community. This empowerment can lead to greater overall economic contributions from all genders, promoting gender parity in financial management and business leadership.

5. More Stable Financial System

Widening the base of people who participate in the real economy will open up the opportunity for the millions of people within the informal sector of the economy to contribute more to broader national economic activity and thus expand the economic growth potential.  A larger pool of economic participants leads to greater diversification of risks and helps financial institutions to develop better resilience against economic shocks. Moreover, increased participation in formal financial systems reduces the prevalence of unregulated, high-risk financial practices.

6. Fostering Innovation

The drive towards financial inclusion spurs innovation within the financial sector. Financial institutions are motivated to cater to the untapped market of underserved populations, leading to innovative products and services designed to meet unique needs. These innovations can improve the usability and accessibility of financial services, reducing costs and enhancing convenience and access for all users.

7. Financial Education

Financial inclusion is closely linked to financial literacy. By promoting inclusivity, there’s also an increased focus on educating the masses about the workings of financial services as they actively participate in exchanging goods and services.  This education is vital for making informed decisions, improving outcomes, reducing broader economic risks and encouraging savings and investment.

8. Social Cohesion

Financial inclusion fosters social cohesion by promoting economic participation and reducing inequality. When everyone has a stake in the economy and access to financial resources, it strengthens trust and cooperation within communities, leading to greater social stability and prosperity.

9. Job Creation

Access to financial services enables entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses, creating job opportunities and driving economic development. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also participate and expand their operations as economic activity expands thereby creating more job opportunities to meet expanding demand for goods and services as buying power expands across the economy.


The importance of financial inclusion extends beyond just providing financial services to the underserved—it requires inclusive and equitable to access to actively participate in the real economy through seamless and cost effective exchange of goods and services produced in order to create value through trade. Empowering all to engage in promoting a more broad-based economic growth to drive sustainable eradication of poverty. Through concerted efforts in advancing financial inclusion, societies can achieve more balanced and sustained development, paving the way for a better outcome for all.

The value of email communication

Email communication remains a fundamental pillar in business interactions, offering a blend of simplicity, formality, and speed that many other forms of communication cannot match.

Despite the rise of instant messaging apps, email remains the most effective digital communication channel for business. According to surveys, email is considered very important for internal and external communications by over 80% of businesses.

Over 50% of businesses say that email is critical for sales, marketing and customer service.  However, there are many other reasons why email continues to be so valuable in the business landscape and this explain why reliable and secure email communication is crucial in an organised community seeking to connect individuals and businesses to drive interactive exchange of goods and services in an effort to drive and boost trade :

1. Professionalism

Emails provide a professional medium to convey your message. In business settings, this professionalism helps maintain the gravity of the communication and leaves room for detailed, thoughtful exchanges.

2. Documentation

One of the key advantages of email communication is the ability to create an automatic paper trail. Emails can be saved, archived, and easily retrieved, providing a reliable reference for future verification of what was communicated in a manner that is not tied to a particular device you may be using at the time of sending the email so that you can be confident that you can change your devices for example mobile phones and laptops without impacting your emails.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

Compared to other forms of business communication such as postal mail and phone calls, email is incredibly cost-effective. It eliminates the need for physical materials and reduces the time spent on long conversations while ensuring speedy delivery of precise message content.

4. Accessibility

Almost everyone in today’s professional environment has an email account, making it a universally accessible form of communication. Moreover, emails can be accessed from multiple devices and locations, offering flexibility in how and when people manage their communications. Despite this many who do not use their email accounts regularly can easily loose access as dormant accounts are cleaned out by providers. Consistent and reliable email access for the Swifin Community members is therefore essential to maintain uninterrupted access and continuity.

5. Efficiency

Sending an email does not require scheduling and can be sent at any time, making it a highly efficient way to convey information without the need to synchronise times between the sender and the receiver as would have to be the case with real-time voice and video calls. With features like forwarding and CC/BCC, information dissemination becomes swift, simple and can involve all the key participants in a single message.

6. Attachments

The ability to attach files – whether documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or images – enhances the effectiveness of email communication. This allows for comprehensive sharing of information that supports the message in the email.

7. Filtering and Organization

Email services offer robust tools that help users filter, sort, and prioritize emails effectively. This organizational benefit ensures that important communications are highlighted and less critical emails do not clog the workflow.

8. Global Reach

Email communication transcends geographical boundaries easily and quickly. Whether it’s international teams or global clients, emails provide a reliable medium to maintain and extend communications across borders without significant costs.

9. Scalability

As businesses grow, their communication needs expand. Email platforms scale easily, handling increasing volumes of communications without the need for significant adjustments or increased prices.

10. Security

Modern email systems come equipped with robust security features designed to protect sensitive information. Encryption, two-factor authentication, and sophisticated spam filters safeguard the information exchanged, reinforcing the security of business communications.

11. Integration with Other Tools

Many email platforms integrate seamlessly with other business tools such as calendars, task managers, and CRM systems. Integration with transaction systems particularly ensure secure, reliable and swift delivery of vital transactional messages and security information such as password resets, access links and One Time Password (OTP).  This integration facilitates a more cohesive workflow and ensures that all key information and tools are interconnected and easily accessible.


In a digital age where rapid and reliable communication is critical, email stands out as a cornerstone of business communication. Email communication can provide an important audit trail of vital communication between trading parties involved in an exchange of a good or service and can contain such vital information relating to the transaction and manner of execution and delivery agreed between participants. The advanced functionalities, coupled with the inherent advantages of email, underscore its indispensable role in modern business operations. Its adaptability to new technologies ensures that email will continue to evolve and serve as a crucial tool for business communication, networking, marketing, and beyond. It’s not only an efficient way to exchange ideas but offers much more value as a channel for effective business communication. As businesses continue to evolve, the role of email is likely to remain and continue to grow, despite the emergence of instant messaging apps. It is likely that email will adapt to new technologies while remaining a key player in professional communication strategies for business and continue to support modern day exchange of vital business and transactional information that needs to be reliably and securely delivered.

The swifin Mailbox service is designed and implemented to provide all the benefits of a reliable and secure email service. You can click here now to order your Swifin mailbox bundle.

You can now create your Connect Blog

As a potentially useful tool to drive information dissemination and education and training across the community we have added the ability for Community Members to create their Connect Blog.

Simply click on the blog menu item under Connect (or click Create from your blog page when accessed from your profile menu), then type your content and publish.