African currencies

African currencies were formed from basic items to create a medium of exchange. They used to include shells, ingots, gold, iron, salt, cattle, and many other materials and goods.

The continent is now a long way from that time as it started to change, from around the 17th century, as European colonial powers made their way into the continent and introduced their own monetary system into each of the countries they administered.

Today, different African countries now have their unique currencies which were established as they gained independence in the 20th century. These currencies are used to trade within and outside their borders.

The different African currencies have their strengths and weaknesses. The Libyan Dinar, for instance, has an exchange rate of less than 2 Libyan dinars to a dollar. The South African Rand is among the most-traded currencies in the international forex market and the Zimbabwean dollar has since died and been replaced in Zimbabwe by the US dollar, the South African Rand, and or the Zambian Kwacha, based on your exact location within the country.

However, despite independence and sovereignty, some countries still share a particular unit of exchange. There are currently eight independent countries which use the West African Franc as their currency. There is also the Central African CFA Franc which is used by six independent countries as their unit of exchange.

The eight countries using the West African CFA franc are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. It was introduced to these French colonies in 1945 as a replacement for the French West African Franc. Together, the countries have a combined population of over 105 million people and are all members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. Also, the currency is issued by the Central Bank of the West African States which is located in Dakar, Senegal.

See Also: Top 7 Strongest African Currencies 

For the Central African CFA Franc, the six independent states which use it in central Africa are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. It was introduced in 1945, the same year as its western African counterpart, to replace the French Equatorial African franc. These six countries, which belong to the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, have a combined population of over 50 million people. The unit of exchange is issued by the Bank of the Central African States, which is located in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Below we list all currencies of Africa with their ISO-4217 codes.

List of African Currencies

CountryCurrencyISO-4217
A
AlgeriaAlgerian dinarDZD
AngolaAngolan KwanzaAOA
B
BeninWest African CFA francXOF
BotswanaPulaBWP
Burkina FasoWest African CFA francXOF
BurundiBurundi francBIF
C
Cabo VerdeCape Verdean escudoCVE
CameroonCentral African CFA francXAF
Central African RepublicCentral African CFA francXAF
ChadCentral African CFA francXAF
ComorosComorian francKMF
The Democratic Republic of the CongoCongolese francCDF
CongoCentral African CFA francXAF
Cote d’IvoireWest African CFA francXOF
D
DjiboutiDjiboutian francDJF
E
EgyptEgyptian poundEGP
Equatorial GuineaCentral African CFA francXAF
EritreaEritrean nakfaERN
EthiopiaEthiopian BirrETB
G
GabonCentral African CFA francXAF
GambiaGambian DalasiGMD
GhanaGhanaian cediGHS
GuineaGuinean francGNF
Guinea-BissauWest African CFA francXOF
K
KenyaKenyan shillingKES
L
LesothoLesotho LotiLSL
LiberiaLiberian dollarLRD
LibyaLibyan dinarLYD
M
MadagascarMalagasy AriaryMGA
MalawiMalawian kwachaMWK
MaliWest African CFA francXOF
MauritaniaMauritanian ouguiyaMRO
MauritiusMauritian rupeeMUR
MoroccoMoroccan dirhamMAD
MozambiqueMozambican meticalMZN
N
NamibiaNamibian dollarNAD
NigerWest African CFA francXOF
NigeriaNigerian NairaNGN
R
RwandaRwandan francRWF
S
Sao Tome and PrincipeSao Tome and Principe dobraSTD
SenegalWest African CFA francXOF
SeychellesSeychellois rupeeSCR
Sierra LeoneSierra Leonean LeoneSLL
SomaliaSomali shillingSOS
South AfricaSouth African RandZAR
South SudanSouth Sudanese poundSSP
SudanSudanese poundSDG
SwazilandSwazi lilangeniSZL
T
TanzaniaTanzanian shillingTZS
TogoWest African CFA francXOF
TunisiaTunisian dinarTND
U
UgandaUgandan shillingUGX
Z
ZambiaZambian kwachaZMW
ZimbabweUnited States dollarUSD
SHARE