In pre-colonial times, many objects were sometimes used as currency in Africa. These included shells, ingots, gold (gold dust and gold coins (the Asante)), arrowheads, iron, salt, cattle, goats, blankets, axes, beads, and many others. In the early 19th century a slave could be bought in West Africa with manilla currency; multiples of X-shaped rings of bronze or other metal that could be strung on a staff.
African currency was originally formed from basic items, materials, animals and even people available in the locality to create a medium of exchange. Below is the current list of top 10 highest currencies in Africa;
1. Libyan Dinar (1 USD – 0.77 LYD)
Libyan dinar is known for its vast deposit of crude oil, which accounts for 95% of the nation’s total export earnings and 60% of its GDP. Libya sits at the top with the most stable currency in Africa. The country was made quite famous by its late leader Muammar Gaddafi. Although ravaged by war, its standard of living is not as bad as the oil sector. Compared to Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy.
2. Tunisian Dinar (1USD – 2.3 TND)
The Tunisian comes second after the Libyan Dinar. This North African nation has a diversified economy based on phosphate, oil, car parts manufacturing, tourism, and agro-food products. The country is an island with a 99% of inhabitants being Muslims. The average living standard here is relatively on the prime side with a high minimum wage. The economy is rock stable, thriving and with a small populace. More interestingly is its unemployment rate is stooping so low at 14%.
3. Ghanaian Cedes (1USD – 4.75 CEDI)
Ghana has a stable diversified economy rich in hydrocarbon, tourism, solid minerals, and automobiles among and many more. Its economy rose to prominence in the days of the gold boom and the cocoa era. The booming economy has steadied its currency and made it a promising nation in the globally. Ghana was ranked the fastest developing country in the world.
4. Sudanese Pound (1 USD – 6.41 SDG)
The Sudanese pound is one of the highest currency in Africa. Sudan has gone through a series of wars and divisions but manages to maintain a stable currency exchange rate. Sudan’s economy is yet still afloat despite the split that saw South Sudan gaining their independence. Sudan is seen in at the top due to its consistency in the foreign exchange market over time.
5. Moroccan Diharm (1 USD – 16.2 Mad)
The conservative Islamic caliphate still in North Africa has the 5th largest economy in the continent and also the 5th highest currency in Africa it. It runs a liberal and a capitalist economy gaining major control over the economy. Some of its industries include mining, tourism, automobiles, construction, and textiles. A flourishing economy that has made its GDP stand at an impressive $148.1 billion.
6. Botswana Pula (1 USD – 10.7 Pula)
Botswana is a landlocked state in Southern Africa with a well-defined landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert. It holds a record for retaining one of the world’s longest economic boom streak. The economic growth rate of Botswana is fast-paced and fairly consistent. Its economy depends on agriculture, copper, diamonds, textiles, and livestock. This South African nation is a major key player in the economy of its sub-region and it houses the South African development community corporate headquarters.
7. Zambian Kwacha (1 USD – 10.0 ZMK)
Zambia prides itself as the largest producer of copper in the continent before its neighbors, the Democratic Republic of Congo eyed the title with green eyes and used it. It is a landlocked of rugged terrain and diverse wildlife. Zambian’s economy has always been anchored on copper which is it’s a major source of export earnings. Although the country has been characterized by economic woes and fluctuations in it’s a price of commodities, it still finds itself on the top 10 list.
8. South African Rand (1 USD – 13.4 Rand)
It is the currency used in South Africa. It is the most developed democratic state in the African continent. South Africa has the second largest economy in Africa, trailing behind Nigeria. It has a very vibrant and competitive economy and is the only African member of the G-20 economic group. Its economy is diversified, comprising of mining (41% gold in the world and 90% platinum), automobiles assembly, textiles, agriculture, gold, fertilizer.
9. Eritrean Nafka (1 USD – 15.0 ERN)
Eritrean is an island nation in Africa, a remote country in the horn of Africa is quite small in economy, land area and population, its currency is Nafka. After parting ways with Ethiopia, it still shares the same currency with the old nation. Eritrea has a stable currency from a not too lively economy.
10. Egyptian Pounds (1 USD – 17.8 EGP)
Egypt is a famous Arab nation that as existence since the biblical times. Well known for its civilization and home to the ancient pyramids. The nation is Africa’s third largest economy and one of the most developed in the continent. Its capital Cairo is the second largest city in Africa. Cairo is an economic and industrial hub, bustling with various activities.