There are 55 countries on the vast continent of Africa. The different currencies on the continent are correspondingly complex, as most individual states have their own currency in circulation.
The various local currencies range from the Egyptian pound to the Somalia shilling. The exchange rates, which can change daily, are as varied as the currencies.
When exchanging euros for more exotic African currencies, advance notice at the bank or exchange office is recommended to ensure availability. Often, however, it is also much cheaper to withdraw money from a bank with a credit card.
In many countries, the US dollar is often used in addition to the local currency or the euro is accepted. This is usually the case in larger cities.
Monetary Union in Africa
There are two currency communities in Africa in addition to the central banks of the respective countries. On the one hand the West African Central Bank (UEMOA) and on the other hand the Central African Central Bank (BEAC).
The currency in both communities is the CFA franc, which shows the influence of France. However, both currency areas have their own CFA franc, which is not internally convertible.
The so-called CFA Franc Zone includes many former French colonies, including countries such as Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Gabon and the Ivory Coast. The currencies are also only convertible to a very limited extent externally.
A possible exchange into the euro is controlled by the Banque de France, which has strict requirements for this. Before an exchange into a third currency can take place, it must first be changed into the euro.
Major currencies in Africa
In South Africa, one of the economically strongest countries in Africa, payments have been made with the rand since 1961. The symbol of the currency is an R and the division is in cents.
An agreement was reached with the neighboring states of Lesotho and Swaziland that the South African rand will be accepted as the second currency there. The rand is also accepted as a means of payment in Namibia.
The currency of Egypt is the pound with the currency code EGP. It is the official currency in the country and is used as the unofficial currency in the neighboring Gaza Strip. A pound is divided into 100 piastres and 1000 milliemes.
In Tunisia, the Tunisian dinar replaced the franc as currency in 1958. The specialty is that it may neither be imported nor exported. Currency exchange can only be done in Tunisia.
The Moroccan dirham (abbreviation MAD) is not freely convertible either. Dirhams can only be exchanged in the country. For travelers, the corridor to the exchange office has priority when entering the country.
Overview of all currencies in Africa
- Countries that use CFA franc BEAC: Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Chad, Central African Republic
- Countries that use CFA franc BCEAO: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo
For currency in each individual country, please see the following table:
|Cape Verde||Cape Verde Escudo|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Dobra|
|South Africa||South African Rand|
|Western Sahara||Moroccan dirham|