Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - Trying to stop the economy's perilous slide, the government has reversed a decree outlawing the use of foreign currencies in Congo, the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
It will now be possible to buy and sell using national or foreign currencies in designated free exchange zones, including commercial centres and mining areas, the bank said in a statement. No reason was given for the decision.
President Laurent Kabila's government outlawed foreign currencies last year in a desperate bid to stabilize an economy shattered by war, corruption and mismanagement. Violators risked the death penalty.
The government also routinely issues decrees fixing the prices of everything from cooking oil to precious gems.
But such measures have only added to the country's economic spiral, scaring off foreign investors and leaving hard currencies in short supply.