EXPLAINER GUIDE: How To Use the Sarafu Network and Get Sarafu Tokens Using USSD Shortcodes in Kenya

Sarafu voucher is one of the community inclusion currencies (CICs) that have been spearheaded by Grassroots Economics (GE) to address the problem of low liquidity among poor communities.

GE works with individuals, groups, and organisations to help them issue these sarafu tokens which function as credit against their future production.

Network members agree to trade among themselves, and among other communities, via Sarafu in exchange for goods and services. This is usually to compliment the national currency, particular in areas where cash is hard to come by from time to time.

In 2020 and 2021, The Red Cross in Kenya tried out sarafu to create a cushion during the Covid-19 financial crisis through the distribution of Sarafu tokens.

To try out Sarafu for yourself and community / friends today, you’ll need to follow three simple steps:

1. Create Account

To create an account simply dial *384*96# for a Safaricom user or *483*46# for a Airtel user.

You will receive a prompt to select a language:

You will then receive an SMS confirming the creation of your account.

Now on to step 2:


SEE ALSO: The Kenya Red Cross Launches a Token-Driven Basic Income System after the Success of the Sarafu Blockchain Community Currency


2. Access Your Sarafu

Once you have your account created, dial *384*96# again to open your account for a Safaricom user.

For an Airtel user, dial *483*46#.

When you open an account, it comes with about 4 Sarafu, which is the community inclusion currency (CIC).

3. Sending your Sarafu

Like mobile money, you can send Sarafu to another number using USSD. You just need to have that number.

When you dial *384*96#, the Sarafu menu opens and you can see the following options:

  • Send
  • My Sarafu
  • My Account
  • Help

To send, you will need to select the ‘Send‘ option and enter the number you want to send Sarafu to.

NB: The recipient will need to have a Sarafu account to receive the Sarafu.

Once that is ready, sending works just like mobile money.

Users agree on the usage of Sarafu, and also on the value of a single unit. For example, they can equate a Sarafu to goods worth 10 Kenya shillings (KES).


RECOMMENDED READING: United Nations Spotlights the Sarafu Blockchain Currencies Used in Informal Settlements in Kenya


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