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Top 15 Highest Currencies in Africa

Top 15 Highest Currencies in Africa – Africa is home to over 50 countries, each with its own currency. While some African currencies are pegged to major global currencies like the US dollar or euro, others freely float on the foreign exchange market. The values of African currencies compared to each other are largely dependent on the economic and political stability of the issuing countryTop 15 Highest Currencies in Africa

Some of the strongest African currencies come from countries with relatively stable economies and governments, as well as abundant natural resources like oil and minerals. Meanwhile, countries plagued by high inflation, corruption, war, or other economic challenges tend to have weaker currencies. The rankings also shift over time as economies rise and fall.


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Below is an overview of the top 15 highest valued currencies currently circulating in Africa, as of September 2023. The currencies are ranked by their value against the United States dollar.

#1 Libyan Dinar (LYD)

Value: 1 LYD = $1.39 USD

Country: Libya

The Libyan dinar is the highest valued currency unit in Africa. Following decades of international sanctions against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Libya’s economy and currency benefited from the country’s oil revenues, enabling the dinar to consistently trade well above $1 USD. However, Libya’s civil war that began in 2011 severely disrupted oil production and led to the dinar’s value dropping. After the war ended in 2020, Libya’s oil industry began recovering and the dinar slowly strengthened against the dollar again.

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#2 Tunisian Dinar (TND)

Value: 1 TND = $0.33 USD

Country: Tunisia

The Tunisian dinar comes second, valued at nearly a third of a US dollar. Tunisia has a diverse economy involving agriculture, mining, tourism, and manufacturing. The Central Bank of Tunisia keeps the dinar pegged to a basket of major currencies including the euro and dollar in order to stabilize its value. Strict foreign exchange controls also enable the dinar to hold its worth.

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#3 Moroccan Dirham (MAD)

Value: 1 MAD = $0.097 USD

Country: Morocco

Morocco’s currency, the dirham, is the third most valuable currency in Africa against the US dollar. Morocco has political stability and a diverse economy involving agriculture, mining, tourism, and manufacturing, many of which are exported boosting foreign reserves. The central bank pegs the dirham to a basket of currencies including the euro and dollarNYSC Portal

#4 Botswana Pula (BWP)

Value: 1 BWP = $0.076 USD

Country: Botswana

The Botswana pula places fourth thanks to Botswana’s status as one of Africa’s most stable and thriving economies. Abundant diamond resources, prudent fiscal policies, and a small population of just over 2 million give the pula its high value. The pula is a fully floating currency with no peg.

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#5 Ghanaian Cedi (GHS)

Value: 1 GHS = $0.075 USD

Country: Ghana

The Ghanaian cedi comes in fifth. Ghana has enjoyed over two decades of democracy and economic growth based on exports of gold, cocoa, and oil. In 2007, the cedi underwent a major re-denomination where 10,000 old cedis became 1 new cedi, aimed at stabilizing the currency.Romantic love message

#6 Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)

Value: 1 ZMW = $0.052 USD

Country: Zambia

Zambia’s copper exports bring in foreign currency, helping the kwacha maintain the sixth highest value in Africa. However, the kwacha lost over half its value during Zambia’s economic crisis in the 1980s and has struggled with inflation periodically since.

#7 Sudanese Pound (SDG)

Value: 1 SDG = $0.021 USD

Country: Sudan

Sudan’s pound has held relatively stable in recent years after serious inflation issues in the 1990s due to civil war, US sanctions, and the loss of oil revenues when South Sudan became independent in 2011. Recovering oil production and exports have helped stabilize Sudan’s economy and currencyGood morning My Love Message

#8 Gambian Dalasi (GMD)

Value: 1 GMD = $0.018 USD

Country: Gambia

The dalasi is fairly stable thanks to the Gambian government prudently maintaining high foreign reserves. Tourism and remittances from Gambians living abroad are major sources of foreign currency. The dalasi temporarily plummeted during the 2016-2017 political impasse when President Yahya Jammeh refused to step down after losing an election, but it recovered when he finally left.

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#9 Seychellois Rupee (SCR)

Value: 1 SCR = $0.018 USD

Country: Seychelles

The Seychelles rupee is pegged to the euro, giving this Indian Ocean island nation the ninth highest currency value in Africa. The economy depends on tourism and fishing. Political stability in recent decades has allowed the rupee to hold steady.

#10 Mauritian Rupee (MUR)

Value: 1 MUR = $0.017 USD

Country: Mauritius

The rupee enjoys a high ranking due to Mauritius’s stable politics and robust economy focused on tourism, textiles, and other exports. To stabilize its worth, the rupee is pegged to a basket of currencies including the euro and dollar.

#11 Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE)

Value: 1 CVE = $0.017 USD

Country: Cape Verde

Located off Africa’s west coast, Cape Verde uses the escudo, which is pegged to the euro. Remittances from citizens living abroad significantly boost the nation’s foreign reserves and currency value.Information guide Nigeria

#12 South African Rand (ZAR)

Value: 1 ZAR = $0.057 USD

Country: South Africa

The most internationally traded African currency is the South African rand, which has long benefited from South Africa’s mineral resources and major commercial sector. However, high unemployment, debt, and corruption have weakened the rand significantly from its value over a decade ago.

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#13 Lesotho Loti (LSL)

Value: 1 LSL = $0.057 USD

Country: LesothoJAMB portal

Landlocked Lesotho’s loti is pegged to the rand, so its ranking closely follows South Africa’s currency. Lesotho’s economy relies on remittances from miners working in South Africa as well as some diamond mining and textile manufacturing.

#14 Swazi Lilangeni (SZL)

Value: 1 SZL = $0.057 USD

Country: Eswatini

Formerly known as Swaziland, Eswatini’s currency is also closely tied to South Africa’s rand. Its economy depends on agriculture, mining, and ties to South Africa.

#15 Namibian Dollar (NAD)

Value: 1 NAD = $0.057 USD

Country: Namibia

Rounding out the top 15 African currencies, the Namibian dollar is pegged one-to-one with the South African rand. Namibia’s economy relies significantly on mining uranium and other minerals as well as fishing. However, it suffers from high income inequality and large unemployment.

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Conclusion

There are great disparities between Africa’s highest valued currencies and those with the lowest purchasing power, often reflecting broader economic conditions and political stability. Countries dependent on commodities face greater currency volatility, while those with more diversified economies often fare better. However, wise fiscal policies, investment in development, and stable governance allow many African nations to have currencies trading favorably against the US dollar.

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