Extreme poverty and barter

Extreme poverty and barter
Roiga, symbolic object of monetary value © Museo Nacional de Antropología

Extreme poverty and barter

Tackling the high rate of poverty in Africa with a minimum of rigour would need a deep and detailed review of its complex history, including its colonial past.

In Equatorial Guinea, during the colonial period, most of the inhabitants were to a certain extent excluded from the modern monetary system, living in parallel worlds where objects for barter were used as money, like the roiga among the bubi: with two roigas you could acquire a hen; five got you a goat. We should remember that in Spain the poorest rural sectors continued to practice barter in parallel to the existing monetary system until mid-20th century, especially women.