The strength or value of a currency is an index of its purchasing power, reflecting the current economic situation of a country in comparison with other countries in the world. Using the dollar as a benchmark, here Face2Face Africa ranks the seven strongest currencies in Africa.
The list includes some interesting inclusions as well as some surprising omissions. For example, the naira, the official currency of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, did not make the list, while the dinar, the official currency of Libya, made the list despite the fact that the North African country has been embroiled in intense civil conflict in the last half decade.
7. SOUTH AFRICAN RAND ZAR (1$=14)
Alongside Nigeria, South Africa boasts one of the continent’s strongest economies; however, a sluggish global economy and a fall in commodity prices has hit the rand in recent times with its value declining against the dollar. It currently exchanges for 14 rand to every 1USD.
6. BOTSWANA PULA BWP (1$=10.8)
The pula is Botswana’s official currency, with $1 worth about 10.8 Botswanan pula. The Botswanan economy is often regarded as an African success story; the country enjoys one of the highest Human Development Indexes (HDI) on the continent. Government revenue is derived from mining, cattle ranching, and the service sector.
5. MOROCCAN DIRHAM MAD (1$=9.9)
Morocco boasts one of the strongest currencies in Africa, with $1 currently exchanging for about 9.9 Moroccan dirham. The economy is built around tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture.
4. ZAMBIAN KWACHA ZMW (1$=9.84)
The kwacha is the official currency of Zambia. The exchange rate is currently 1USD for about 9.84 Zambian kwacha, making it one of the most valuable currencies in southern Africa. Zambia maybe considered another of the surprise inclusions on this list since its economy is largely agrarian with some extra revenue coming in from the tourism sector.
SUDANESE POUNDS SDG (1$=6.4)
Despite decades of civil war, Sudan has managed to keep the value of its official currency respectable through a series of re-evaluations, with the most recent coming in 2011 and $1 currently exchanging for 6.4 Sudanese pounds. Crude oil exports, fishing, and agriculture remain the major sources of the government’s revenue.
2. GHANAIAN CEDIS GHS (1$=4)
Ghana is the only West African country on this list. One USD currently exchanges for 4 Ghanaian cedis, making it the second most valuable currency on our list. Ghana boasts one of the most stable democracies in Africa, and the economy is well managed. In addition, despite the slump in commodity prices, the recent discovery of oil has served to boost the economy.
1. LIBYAN DINAR LYD (1$= 1.4116)
Based on its exchange rate to the dollar and its purchasing power, the Libyan dinar is Africa’s strongest currency. One dollar currently exchanges for about 1.4116 Libyan dinars. This is an impressive achievement considering that the North African country has been cut up in a civil conflict since former strongman Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in the 2011 Arab spring uprising. Some analyst believe the currency has been buoyed by the country’s extensive oil reserves and its role as a gateway for African migrants looking to enter Europe.