Currency in Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Congo Franc is the official currency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The corresponding ISO code is CDF, with F and FC also being common abbreviations. One Congo franc is divided into 100 centimes. Although coins were minted for this currency, they are owned by collectors and cannot be found in regular payment transactions.

History of the Congolese currency

Already during the colonial period, this currency was introduced in the Belgian Congo based on the model of the Belgian franc. At that time, a Congo Franc had 0.418422 grams of fine gold, which was reduced to 0.0301264 grams during the economic crisis in the 1930’s.

On November 4, 1908, the Latin Monetary Union accepted the Belgian Congo, whereupon coins were minted according to their specifications. In 1916, the Congo Franc finally became the official currency in all Belgian-occupied African territories.

After the country gained independence in 1960, the Congo Franc initially remained the national currency, but was replaced by the Zaïre in 1967. 1000 Congo francs were exchanged for a Zaïre.

Due to the very high inflation, the Nouveau Zaïre was finally introduced in 1993, which was exchanged for the value of three million Zaïre.

When the country was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the currency was also changed. The country reverted to the original currency denomination of the Congo Franc. Linked to this was another measure to combat inflation, which is why 100,000 Nouveaux Zaïres resulted in only one Congo franc. One euro is currently equivalent to over 1000 Congo francs.

Exchange into the currency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

When traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, many travelers wonder whether and, if so, where to exchange their money for the Congolese currency.

It is particularly worthwhile to exchange them for the local currency when purchasing everyday goods, such as groceries. For larger sums, the dollar or the euro is preferred as a means of payment.

However, since the export of Congo Francs is not allowed, these must be exchanged after entering the country and used up or exchanged back before departure.