Which African country has the highest currency?

Which African country can provide you the highest currency rate? Read the article to find out.

African currency was traditionally

African currency was traditionally formed from the basic items, like materials or animal products. Even people were provided as African country currencies to provide a medium of exchange. The changes with the situation started with the 17th century when colonial powers came to Africa and changed it. They provided African countries and their currencies a new monetary system. With gaining of the independence during the 20th century. It provided new era for Africa which needed new currencies. Some of the currencies were just renamed for various of reasons. African countries names provided new ere for currency, but there is a problem with inflation for today.

History of African countries currency

In precolonial Africa, currency could include many things, like iron, salt, shells, ingots, gold, cattle, axes, blankets, arrowheads, goats, beads and many other things including humans.  In the early 19th century, it was possible to buy a slave with Manila currency in West Africa. It was multiples of x-shaped staffs, like rings of bronze or other metal that could act as a currency. In colonial times for the 17th to the 20th century, the respective colonial powers introduced their currencies to the African continent. They also managed to produce local versions of their currencies.

READ ALSO: Naira to dollar: is it another rapid drop of the national Nigerian currency?

The examples for African countries local currencies can be Somali shilling, African franc and the Italian East African lira. Many post-colonial governments have saved the name of the currencies of the colonial period. There are many examples of that, like the British West African pound was replaced by the Nigerian pound. This Nigerian pound was divided into shillings before it was replaced by Naira.

Different currencies were changed due to the predominant foreign power in the region. It caused some changes in the names of the currencies in Africa. One of the examples can be the East African rupee. It was an echo from the long trading relationship with India and Arabia. Nevertheless, it was replaced with the East African shilling when the British destroyed the predominant currency in the region. Other countries of Africa also threw the dominant currency of other countries. For example, the Botswana pula was replaced with the South African rand in 1976. Some countries did not change their currencies despite being in the post-colonial era. Take Uganda for example with its Ugandan shilling.

Ugandan shilling

Many African currencies change their currency appearance when the new government takes power. It usually connected with the new head of state as his/her head should be appeared on the new bank note. Nevertheless, the notional value of the currency stays the same. Moreover, there is a certain problem for many African currencies as the re-valuing should take place too often due to rampant inflation. One of the current examples for this state of the currency is the Zimbabwe dollar. You can also meet the unlicensed street trade with using stable currencies, like US dollar or British pound. These currencies are still considered to be the best hedge against inflation. The exchange rate is grossly more favourable to the seller of the foreign currency. It should also be mentioned that official rate of the currencies compare to US dollar is much cheaper in the official bank, then in the street trade.

In rural areas of many countries, you can still meet barter exchanges. Even goods made by locals is more precious than national currency. It`s quite difficult to keep the national trading system when the national currency is not stable enough to trade with another people. Therefore, the best option for Africans is to use barter or any other foreign currency that is stable enough. It means that people of Africa are not certain enough in their national currencies.

Here comes another problem connected with currencies in Africa. It`s the black market of currencies. It means that people in Africa might have no choice then to have back up currencies from stable countries. It means that many people have backup salaries which can`t be governed or taxed. Everything should be just concentrated on the black market, and there is no other choice for national bank system then suffering from loss. Moreover, national police of some countries do nothing to prevent black markets of currencies from growing. It just helps nothing; They need to survive.

national police of some countries

 In this article, it`s presented top 5 African countries highest currencies

Egyptian pound

It`s currency the national currency of Egypt. It can be divided into 100 piastres or ersh. The Egyptian pound can frequently be observed as LE which stand for livre Egyptian's as it comes from French. The first Egyptian currency was provided in 1834, and it replaced bimetallic base currency of gold and silver. The Egyptian currency was known for that time as geneih. This national currency can now totally represent the value of Egypt nation. Nevertheless, the lowest rate for that currency was during the Egyptian revolution. For today, it’s quite possible to exchange 1000 Egyptian pounds for 55 United States Dollars.

Sudanese pound

The Sudanese pound was also used as currency in South Sudan until the finalisation of introduction for South Sudanese pound. Both English and Arabic names appeared on the coins and banknotes. The first pound that circulated in Sudan was the Egyptian pound. The rebellions of Muslims in the 19th century provided a new currency which worked alongside the old one. The newest version of the currency appeared in 2011. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Sudanese pounds for 150 United States Dollars.

Ghanaian Cedi

It`s the unit currency in Ghana. It can be named fourth and only legal unit tender in the Republic of Ghana. One Ghanaian Cedi can be divided into one hundred pesewas. Ghana separated itself from the British West African Pound. It was the currency for British colonies in the region. The first independent Ghanaian pound was represented in 1958. The African name Cedi appeared only in 1965. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Ghanaian Cedi for 236 United States Dollars.

Tunisian Dinar

It`s the national currency of Tunisia. The word dinar is derived from the Roman denarius. It was used in the Africa province by Romans on the antic territory of Carthage, which is now Tunisia. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Tunisian Dinar for 437 United States Dollars.

Libyan dinar

It`s the national currency of Libya. It was firstly introduced as a national currency in 1971. One dinar can be divided into 100 dirhams. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Libyan Dinar for 693 United States Dollars.

Egyptian pound

There are also others less strong African currencies that can be presented in the article

Algerian dinar

This is a national currency of Algeria. The name dinar is ultimately coming from the Roman denarius. The first Algerian Dinar was introduced on the first of April 1964. It replaced the Algerian new franc. According to the latest data from the currency exchange rates, it can be named as one of the weakest currencies. The overall situation in the country can`t provide the strong economic politics. For today, it`s uses possible to exchange 1000 Algerian Dinar for 9 United States Dollars.

Angolan Kwanza

It`s a national currency of Angola. There were four currencies named Kwanza that started its circulation since 1977. Kwanza was introduced as a currency right after Angola gained independence.  It replaced the escudo, and it can be subdivided into 100 lweis. It`s interesting that the first banknotes for the Angolan Kwanza bore only the date of independence. Nevertheless, due to the political and economic situation in the country, Kwanza is one of the weakest currencies on the continent. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Angolan Kwanza for 6 United States Dollars.

CFC franc

It`s the name of two currencies that are used in Africa and can be guaranteed the support of French treasury. Both CFA francs for today have a fixed exchange rate. Nevertheless, the countries where these currencies are provided can`t show great results in economics. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 CFC francs for 1,5 United States Dollars.

Botswana Pula

Pula is named as the national currency of Botswana. Pula was firstly introduced to this African country in 1976. It replaced the South African Rand. It should be mentioned that Botswana Pula can be named one of the strongest currencies in the African region. Nevertheless, this country can`t be compared with other major strongest economies of the world, but it can be named as one of the strongest in Africa. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Botswana Pula for 92 United States Dollars.

African currency

Burundi Franc

It can also be considered as one of the weakest currencies in the world. Burundi Franc started its existence from the independence of Burundi. Nevertheless, due to drastic political and economic situation within the country, it`s quite difficult to say if the situation with this currency may be changed to something better.

Cameroon frank

Cameroon use the same value of currency, like Benin. They prefer to use this currency as it`s provided and guaranteed by the French treasury. Still, Cameroon also stays in a drastic situation connected to the economy. It should also be mentioned that it`s one of the poorest economic in the world. Nevertheless, for today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 CFC francs for 1,5 United States Dollars in Cameroon.

Cape Verdean escudo

The escudo is the national currency of Cape Verde. The escudo started its life as a currency of Cape Verde in 1914. It firmly replaced Cape Verdean real with a rate of 1000 reis for one escudo. Until the beginning of the 1930s, Cape Verde used Portuguese coins as exchange money. Since the proclamation of independence in 1975, Cape Verdes Portuguese Escudo was replaced with national banknotes.  Nevertheless, this currency is also considered as one of the weakest in Africa. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Cape Verdean escudo for 9,5 United States Dollars.

Comorian Franc

The Franc is a national currency for Comoros. It can be nominally subdivided into 100 centimes. As it derives from the name, Comorian Franc comes from the French Franc. It`s certainly happened when these islands became a French protectorate in 1886. Nevertheless, Comoros is one of the poorest countries in the world, and they have problems with holding their national currency at a good level. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Comorian Franc for 2,1 United States Dollars.

Congolese franc

Congolese franc

It`s another weak currency presented in Africa. The overall situation in the country is drastic, and constant devaluation of the currency does not help to keep the state of things at the modest level. The economic level of the country is currently provided with efforts of the country government. Nevertheless, it should also be mentioned that overall problems with corruption do not give any stability to the regions of the country.

Djiboutian franc

It`s the national currency of Djibouti. It was historically divided into 100 centimes. As it comes with previous countries of African region. It`s a quite new and unstable country in Africa region that can provide much less stability to the national currency. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Djiboutian Franc for 5,6 United States Dollars.

Eritrean Nakfa

It`s the national currency of Eritrea that was introduced to the public on 8th of November 1997. This currency takes its name from the Eritrean town of Nakfa. It was created to replace Ethiopian birr. It can be firmly divided into 100 cents. It`s one of the strongest national currencies in Africa. For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Eritrean Nakfa for 65 United States Dollars.

Ethiopian Birr

It`s another weak part of national currencies in Africa. Ethiopian beat can be named as one of the weakest currencies in Africa region. The problem for this currency is the same as with other. The overall economic situation in the country can`t provide firm and stable national economic growth. Therefore, Ethiopian Birr can be named one of the most unstable currencies not only in the African region but in the world. One of the most serious strikes for the national currency was provided with the world finance crisis in 2008.

Nigerian Naira

Naira is the national currency of Nigeria that can be divided into 100 Kobo. The Naira was firstly introduced to the world on 1 January 1973. At that year, the rate of one pound was estimated into two nairas. Nevertheless, the national currency rate in the country keeps dropping together with problems of the country. Oe of the most recent problems for the country is an outbreak of different terrorist groups, like Boko Haram and Niger Delta Avengers. The last group managed to destroy several oil pipelines which increased the speed of inflation in the country.  For today, it`s quite possible to exchange 1000 Nairas for 3 United States Dollars.

The overall situation with African national currencies

Africa is considered to be one of the poorest regions on the planet. Therefore, the overall state of national currencies for different African countries can be quite drastic. The main reasons for the poor state of national economies and currencies in Africa can be next:

  • Terrorism – it`s quite difficult to create a stable currency situation on the market with constant terroristic attacks and need to invest money into fighting operations against terrorist.
  • Corruption – the overall situation with corruption in Africa is quite drastic. Therefore, corruption can`t provide stable economic circumstances for the growth of national currencies.
  • World Economic situation – the current of the world with cheap oil and gas can`t help African countries which are mainly dependent from the exporting of rude resources.


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