african most valuable currencies

15 Strongest Currencies in Africa Against USD Exchange Rate

Last updated on August 13th, 2023 at 10:15 am

Advertisements

The strongest currencies in Africa in 2023 in terms of US Dollar exchange rate are Tunisian Dinar, Libyan Dinar, Moroccan Dirham, Ghanaian Cedi, Seychellois Rupee, Botswana Pula, Eritrean Nakfa, Namibian Dollar, Lesotho Loti, and Swaziland Lilangeni.

In this post, we will compare currencies in Africa against the United State dollar and come up with the 15 most valuable currencies on the continent in terms of their rate against the USD.

It should be noted that most of the African countries except a few of them depend largely on imported finished products from other continents. Some of them have indirectly imported inflation into their various economies.

Advertisements

So…

Which African currencies are doing well and fairly against the USD?

1) Tunisian Dinar or TD

The dinar is the currency of Tunisia. Popularly called Dinar tunisien or DT because of the popular use of the French language, the currency was introduced in 1960, replacing Franc.

tunisian dinar_strongest_currency_in_africa
Tunisian dinar. Photo credit: IMF

The government of Tunisia put a lot of regulatory measures in place to curtail inflation, particularly between. 2000 to 2015, and the effort is paying off as the Tunisian Dinar is now the strongest and most valuable currency in Africa.

1 USD = 3.09 TD

2) Libyan Dinar

Until September 1971, the pound was the official currency of Libya, but the young Army officer Col Muammar Gaddafi changed the currency to the Libyan Dinar.

The country positively utilises crude oil, one of the best in the world. Established the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank to manage overseas investment. And by 1973 Libyan Dinar was pegged at 0.29679 against the USD.

The country also did other pegging and for several years, Libyan Dinar maintained the first spot as the most valuable African currency until recently it dropped to the second position.

$1 = 4.80 LYD

3) Moroccan Dirham

Standing on number 3 the position is Moroccan Dirham. One USD to MAD is 9.78 MAD. Historically, the dirham is derived from the Greek currency. The denominations include100 dirhams, 200 dirhams, 50 dirhams, and 20 dirhams

Also Read:  5 Strongest Currencies in North America

4) Ghanaian Cedi or GHS

In 1983, Nigeria’s government deported over a million Ghanaians under the civilian administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. At the time, the economy of Ghana was in shamble.

Several years after, foreign investors choose Ghana over Nigeria as an investment destination. That has helped the country’s currency.

No doubt, the GHS has had its challenges, the Ghanaian Cedi is among the top five strongest currencies on the continent.

$1 = ₵11.23 6.52

History has shown that a decisive crackdown on the black market rate in Ghana helped the country to have firm control of its local currencies against the US dollar unlike a lot of African countries where the black market FX rate has hijacked the official rate from the Central Bank.

5) Seychelles Rupees or SCR

Off East Africa is Seychelles. The country houses several attractive beaches, rare animals, coral reefs and nature reserves.

One Seychellois Rupee is worth NGN57.62 while $1 to SCR is 13.14 SCR, making it the 5th strongest currency in Africa in terms of USD exchange rate.

6) Botswana Pula

When Nigeria’s economic data has failed to transform the living standard of its over 200 million people while the leadership continues to plunder the country into a generational debt, Botswana, a less popular country in global politics continues to stabilise its economy and currency.

As the number 6 most valuable currency in Africa, Botswana’s Pula is worth NGN57.16

$1 is just 13.46 Pula while the same one USD is worth NGN770 in Nigeria in the I&E Window rate. In terms of economic management, Botswana is far ahead of Nigeria.

It’s on record that hundreds of Nigerian professors leave Nigeria for Botswana for better opportunities and they are well remunerated over there.

The pula which was introduced on 23 August 1976, has denominations like 200 pula, 100 pula, 50 pula, 10 pula, and 20 pula.

7) Eritrean Nakfa or ERN

A breakaway country from Ethiopia is Eritrea which has several denominations both in banknotes and coins including 100 nakfa, 5 nakfa, 10 nakfa, 1 nakfa, 20 nakfa, 50 nakfa. Other include 10 cents, 1 nakfa, 1 cent, 5 cents, 50 cents, and 25 cents.

USD to ERN is 15.00.

Apart from being one of the top-performing currencies in Africa in terms of exchange rate against the US dollar, the State of Eritrea is home to tall, elegant and charming beautiful ladies.

Also Read:  How To Achieve USD/N500 Exchange Rate - Financial Expert Reveals

8) Namibian Dollar

Occupying the 8th position is the Namibian Dollar. One United States Dollar is equivalent to 18.70 Namibian dollars.

Until 1993, the South African rand was the legal tender in Namibia. Though the rand is still accepted in Namibia, a former member of the Common Monetary Area from independence in 1990 until the introduction of the dollar in 1993.

The currency is in banknotes ($200, $100, $50, $20, $10) and coins.

9) Lesotho Loti or LSL

On the same spot as the Namibian Dollar is the Loti, the official currency of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

One USD is 18.70 Maloti (plura of Loti). Up till today, Loti and South African Rand are legal tender in Lesotho.

10) Swaziland Lilangeni or SZL

1 USD to SZL is E18.78. The Lilangeni has singular (L) and plural (E). as such, one might have L1, E200, E20 etc

11) South African Rand or R

Occupying the number 11 position as the valuable currency in Africa in terms of USD exchange rate is the South African Rand. One USD is worth 18.83 rand.

The R has attained a prominent position in the Common Monetary Area member states of Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Although the aforementioned three countries have their own national currency, rand is still accepted.

12) Zambian Kwacha or ZMW

One USD is 18.97 kwacha.

Apart from its fair monetary management which put the value of the country’s currency in the 12th position on the continent, Zambia’s wide range of natural resources including uranium, copper, gold, cobalt, and silver among others are major sources of revenue.

By far, the kwacha is better than the currency of Nigeria, which claims to be a giant Africa

13) Egyptian Pound or EGP

The Egyptian Pound is the 13th most valuable currency on the continent. Even with its political challenges a few years ago, the country has been able to manage its resources like petroleum, natural gas, manganese, and limestone among others.

One US Dollar is worth 30.90 in the country.

14) Mauritanian Ouguiya or MRO

Mauritania is one of the few places in Africa where alcohol is outlawed. Despite its conversationalist policy, Ouguiya, the legal tender of Mauritania is in the 14th spot on the currencies in Africa

One USD = 37.85 MRO 

15) Ethiopian Birr or ETB

Despite the devastating inflation rate Ethiopia faced between 2008 and 2011 due to what analysts described as a monetary policy, Birr occupies the number 15 position on the list of over 50 legal tenders in Africa.

Also Read:  US Dollar Gains Against Naira, Sells at NGN565/USD At Black Market

One USD is worth 55.15 ETB

Factors that affect currency value:

A lot of factors come into in terms of the value of a currency in comparison with another, the notable ones include:

  • Interest Rates
  • Supply and demand factors
  • Economic indicators
  • Political stability
  • Trade balance
  • Central bank interventions
  • Market liquidity
  • Speculation
  • Market sentiments
  • Global economic conditions

Challenges:

Some of the challenges facing the continent include poor leadership, human disaster, violence and the negative effect of colonialism.

Despite all the aforementioned challenges, some of the African countries are able to put inflation in check and able to adequately manage and capitalise on the natural resources within their reach.

To a large extent, their ability to manage their resources has an effect on the value of the local currencies unlike some of them whose local currencies have embarrassing value.

For instance, Nigeria which claims to be Africa’s largest economy is in the league of weakest currencies in Africa.

On the surface, if each of the countries is adjudged by how large its economy is, one might list South African and Nigerian as the strongest, but the reverse is the case.

Some of the African countries with the strongest currencies are not as big as SA and Nigeria are in international politics and economy.

This means it isn’t by size, but by the realistic policies that were put in place by the leadership of the countries under review.

Even the Libyan Dinar which used to be the strongest currency in Africa, a position it held for several years, has been overthrown by other smaller countries on the continent.

Recap:

From the analysis above, a bad monetary policy can badly affect the value of a country’s currency (a case study of Nigeria). Surprisingly, some smaller African countries whose population and land area are not up to a state in Nigeria do well in terms of monetary policies

Here is the list of 15 strongest currencies in Africa in 2023 in terms of US Dollar exchange rate

PositionCurrencyConversionValue in Local currency
1Tunisian DinarUSD to TND3.09 TND
2Libyan DinarUSD to LYD4.80 LYD
3Moroccan DirhamUSD to MAD9.78 MAD
4Ghanaian CediUSD to GHS11.23 GHS
5Seychellois RupeeUSD to SCR13.14 SCR
6Botswana PulaUSD to BWP13.46 BWP
7Eritrean NakfaUSD to ERN15.00 7 ERN
8Namibian DollarUSD to NAD18.70 NAD
9Lesotho LotiUSD to LSL18.70 LSL
10Swaziland LilangeniUSD to SZL18.78 SZL
11South African RandUSD to ZAR18.83 ZAR
12Zambian KwachaUSD to ZMW18.97 ZMW
13Egyptian PoundUSD to EGP30.90 EGP
14Mauritanian OuguiyaUSD to MRO37.85 MRO
15Ethiopian BirrUSD to ETB50.86
16Gambian DalasiUSD to GMD60.40 GMD
17Mozambican MeticalUSD to MZN63.25 MZN
18Cape Verde EscudoUSD to CVE99.99 CVE
This list is subject to change since some factors may affect the value of a currency in the foreign exchange market

One striking thing about the aforementioned best currencies in Africa is that 11 of them made the 2020 World Bank ranking of the best African countries to do business.

Tunisia, Ghana, Morocco, Botswana, Seychelles and South Africa had an impressive scores using several indicators. Others include Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Egypt and Zambia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top