Nigeria is the giant of Africa they say!! But, it will sadden your heart knowing that the Nigerian Naira is not listed among the top 10 highest currencies in Africa despite Nigeria’s immense mineral and natural resources.
In Africa, some currencies have continued to show strength despite foreign pressures. In this article, we’ll compare some of the top currencies in Africa against the dollar and the Nigerian naira.
Howbeit, the Libyan Dinar is the highest and most valued currency in Africa with an equivalent of 1 USD = LD 1.41. Surprising right?
Want to know more about how strong the economy of a country is? Check their currency. The strength of a currency has so much to say about the economic situation in that country.
Here’s our list of the top 10 currencies in Africa. You can also read What Is The Highest Currency In The World?
For years running, the Libyan Dinar has maintained its prized position as the most valued currency on the African continent. Perhaps due to the fact that the country is oil rich, her currency has remained strong over the years.
The Libyan Dinar is equivalent to 95.85 Nigerian naira. Against the US dollar, the Libyan Dinar exchanges at $1 to 0.21 Dinar.
Last year, the Tunisian Dinar displaced the Ghanaian Cedi as the second most valued currency in Africa. Tunisia is a North African country that has learned to depend less and less on imported goods and products in favor of homemade products.
Their currency is better for it. A Tunisian Dinar exchanges for 149.04 Nigerian naira. You need only 0.32 Tunisian Dinars to get a dollar.
Ghanaian Cedi GHC
Ghana has leveraged its huge mineral resources as well as a thriving economy to make it’s currency one of the most respected currencies in the African state. Sitting pretty in third spot is the Ghanaian Cedi.
Nigeria used to be the country that feeds Ghana but today our currency can’t even compete with theirs. 1 GHC is worth NGN80. 4.5 GHC is equal to a dollar.
The Moroccan Dirham
Morocco’s currency is also one of the highly respected currencies in Africa. Morocco boasts one of the working economies in Africa where looting rarely takes place.
The Moroccan Dirham exchanges at one Moroccan Dirham to 31 naira. It goes at 9.9 Dirhams for the dollar.
You might wonder how the Botswana currency could make this list but the naira couldn’t. That goes to show you how well managed their economy is, despite their meager resources.
The small South African nation has a currency that is valued at N30 per Pula. The Botswana Pula also performs well against the dollar. It goes at 10.8 Botswana Pula for a dollar.
South African Rand
For long, the South African Rand has continued to be one of the most valued currencies in Africa. The country boasts of a prospering economy, huge gold deposits and a high internally generated revenue.
However, the South African Rand is gradually losing it’s value and is not as strong as it used to be. Regardless, one South African Rand goes for 22 Nigerian naira while 14 Rand is equivalent to 1 dollar.
The Egyptian Pounds makes our list of most valuable currencies in Africa. Despite being a country surrounded by scorching deserts, the Egyptian economy has not dwindled so much.
Perhaps due to minimal corruption by her leaders, the Egyptian Pound is strong and is valued at 15.5 Egyptian pounds to the dollar. It exchanges at 21 Nigerian naira to one Egyptian pound.
The Zambian Kwacha is highly valued in Africa. How a tiny nation like Zambia has a currency that beats the naira hands down is beyond me. Against the US dollar, the Zambian Kwacha exchanges at 10 Zambian Kwacha for a dollar.
The small Island country boasts a good economy and hence has a strong currency, amazingly, one of the strongest on Africa. One Eritrean Nakfa goes for 22 Nigerian naira. The currency also exchanges at 16 Eritrean Nakfa per dollar.
Seychellois rupee (SCR)
One US dollar is valued at 13.5327 SCR
Since 1993, the Namibia dollar has served as the country’s official currency. Namibia ranks as one of the countries with the lowest population density in the world.
It has an estimated population of 2.55 million people and is a stable multi-party democracy with a parliamentary system. Farming, tourism, and mining-related activities – including extraction for diamond gemstones, uranium, silver, gold, and base metals – form the backbone of its economy, whereas the manufacturing sector is relatively small.
One US dollar is valued at 19.1939 Namibian Dollar
Weakest Currencies in Africa
São Tomé and Príncipe’s dobra
The So Tomé & Prncipe dobra, or STD, is the national currency of So Tomé & Prncipe, a tiny island republic off the western coast of Central Africa near the equator.
The Sao Tomé & Prncipe dobra is made up of 100 cêntimos and is typically symbolized by the notation “Db” in local currency; nevertheless, inflation has rendered cêntimos almost useless.
In December 2020, $1 USD will be worth around 20,000 STD.
Burundi Franc is the country’s currency (BIF). It is denominated in centimes. The Burundi Franc is symbolized by the sign Fbu.
The East African Shilling, which is part of the East African Community, is being discussed as a possible replacement for the Franc in 2015.
Sierra Leonean Leone
Sierra Leone’s official currency is the Sierra Leonean Leone (SLL). The Bank of Sierra Leone is responsible for issuing it. One US dollar exchanges for 10,000 leones as of December 2020.
Before the numbers, the symbol “Le” is frequently used to symbolize the leone. For example, Le100 is used to symbolize 100 leones.
It is among the world ‘s most unstable currencies, with its value against the US dollar falling dramatically between June 2016 and December 2020.
The economy of Sierra Leone is primarily based on raw material exports, particularly in the diamond industry.
The Guinea franc, the currency of the Republic of Guinea, is abbreviated as GNF. It is a currency in West Africa.
The Republic of Guinea was originally called French Guinea; currently, it is known as Guinea-Conakry, which alludes to the capital city’s name in order to separate it from Guinea-Bissau. As of Q1 2021, one US dollar is worth around 10,000 GNF.
How African Countries Can Strengthen Currencies
To raise the intrinsic value of their currency, African countries might consider a number of strategies.
- Sell foreign exchange commodities, buy own currency
- Increase interest rates (attract high flows of cash).
- Lower inflation (makes exports cheaper and more competitive
- Supply-side measures designed to boost competitiveness over time.
African currencies list
|Country or territory||Currency||ISO-4217|
|Ascension Island (UK)||Saint Helena pound||SHP|
|Benin||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Burkina Faso||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Cabo Verde||Cabo Verdean escudo||CVE|
|Cameroon||Central African CFA franc||XAF|
|Central African Republic||Central African CFA franc||XAF|
|Chad||Central African CFA franc||XAF|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Congolese franc||CDF|
|Congo, Republic of the||Central African CFA franc||XAF|
|Cote d’Ivoire||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Equatorial Guinea||Central African CFA franc||XAF|
|Gabon||Central African CFA franc||XAF|
|Guinea-Bissau||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Mali||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Mayotte (France)||European euro||EUR|
|Niger||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Reunion (France)||European euro||EUR|
|Saint Helena (UK)||Saint Helena pound||SHP|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Sao Tome and Principe dobra||STN|
|Senegal||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Sierra Leone||Sierra Leonean leone||SLE|
|South Africa||South African rand||ZAR|
|South Sudan||South Sudanese pound||SSP|
|Togo||West African CFA franc||XOF|
|Tristan da Cunha (UK)||Pound sterling||GBP|
|Zimbabwe||United States dollar||USD|