Just a few days ago, I was discussing with a friend of mine while we were relaxing on a couch in my living room. We were discussing Mama Africa and just out of the blues, my friend asked if I knew the top ten weakest currencies in Africa, and yeah you guessed right because I didn’t. However, that singular question pushed me into research mode and the investigator in me set to work, and I can say that I was wowed at the tons of knowledge I found during my research.
It would interest you to know that a country’s currency can be said to be weak when it has a very low value in the global market. The US Dollars is generally used for global trade and it has controlled the international market for a long time in relation to international funds. The weakest currency in Africa is the Sao Tome and Principe’s Dobra with an exchange rate of 1 USD to 22,594 STD as of April 2022. It is closely followed by Sierra Leone’s Leone with an exchange rate of 1 USD to 12,241 SLL. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew all of the weakest currencies in Africa? And who knows, how this information can come in handy for you.
Top 10 Weakest Currencies In Africa
||Lowest African Currencies
||Value To $1
||Sao Tome And Principe Dobra
||Sierra Leone Leon
Short details on each country on the list
The Top 10 Weakest Currencies In Africa, Lowest In Value
1. Sao Tome and Principe Dobra
Sao Tome and Principe’s legal tender called the Dobra tops the list of the weakest currencies in Africa and it is shortened and denoted as Db. It is printed, issued, and administered by the Banco Central de Sao Tome e Principe which is the country’s Central Bank. It would interest you to know that Dobra coins are nickel-plated steel coins that are denominated in 10, 20, and 50 centimos; 1 and 2 dobras while the bank notes are denominated in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 dobra notes. The exchange rate of 1 USD to the Dobra is 22, 594 STD.
Sao Tome and Principe can be found on the Western equatorial coast of Central Africa. Interestingly, there was no human nor any found living in this country as early as the 15th century until it was discovered by the Portuguese explorers who was the one that took their time to inhabit this area and served as the trade center of Africa then. They major in the cultivation of Cocoa and other agricultural produces
This country remains one of the countries in the whole of Africa that has the most stable democracy.
2. Sierra Leonean Leone
The legal tender in Sierra Leone is the Leone and it sits in the 2nd spot of the weakest currencies in Africa. The symbol of the currency is Le which is written before the amount, and its code is SLL. The country’s central bank which is known as the Bank of Sierra Leone prints, issues, and administers the Leone coins and notes. 10, 50, 100, and 500 Leone coins are in circulation while the 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and the 10,000 Leone banknotes are in circulation. It is considered to be a weak currency going by its exchange rate with the US Dollars. Presently, 1 USD is equivalent to 12,241 SLL.
Sierra Leone is also called Salone in an informal way, this country shared boundaries with many other African countries like Guinea, and with the Atlantic Ocean. It is characterized by the tropical climate which has different environments ranging from Rainforest to Savanna.
3. Guinean Franc
The official currency of the Republic of Guinea is the Guinean Franc which is represented by the FG symbol and the code of GNF. Guinea’s central bank which is known as the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea prints, issues, and manages the franc coins and notes. The coins are denominated in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 francs while the 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 francs notes are in circulation. The exchange rate of 1 US Dollars to the Guinean Franc is at 8,914 GNF.
The Guinea Franc is subdivided into 100 centimes, but no centime denominations were ever issued. Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite (mining) as well as the largest high-grade iron ore reserves, gold and diamonds included. Bauxite mining and alumina production is the major workforce in the country that provides 80% of the nation’s foreign exchange.
4. Malagasy Ariary
The Ariary is Madagascar’s official currency which is sectioned into 5 Iraimbilanja coins. Ariary is a Spanish word that means real while Iraimbilanja means one iron weight.
`The currency is represented by Ar and its ISO code is MGA. Banky Foiben’i Madagasikara is Madagascar’s central bank and it is concerned with printing, issuing, and managing the Malagasy Ariary. The coins that are in current circulation are denominated by 1and 2 Iraimbilanja; 1, 2, 4, and 5 Ariary while the 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 Ariary notes are in circulation. 1 US Dollar is equivalent to 4,048 MGA as of April 2022.
5. Ugandan Shilling
Ugandan’s official currency is the Shilling and it is denoted by USh and its ISO code is UGX. The Bank of Uganda which is the country’s central bank is responsible for printing, issuing, and managing the Ugandan Shilling. The coins in circulation in Uganda are denominated by 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 shillings while the bank notes are denominated in 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 shillings. As of April 2022, 1 USD is equal to 3,548 UGX.
6. Tanzanian Shilling
The official currency of the United Republic of Tanzania is the Shilling which is denoted by TSh and an ISO code of TZS. The Bank of Tanzania is concerned with printing, issuing, and managing the Tanzanian shilling. The coins in circulation are denominated in 50, 100, 200, and 500 shillings while the Tanzanian shilling notes are denominated in 1,000. 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 shillings. As of April 2022, 1 US Dollar is equivalent to 2,322 TZS.
The shilingi (sign: TSH; code: TZS) is the Tanzanian currency and it is subdivided into 100 Senti (cents in English). The Tanzanian shilling was introduced to replace the East African shilling on 14 June 1966. The Tanzanian government is ambitious to develop and attract foreign investment by creating a better business environment by having access to get finance and also creating enabling infrastructures.
7. Burundian Franc
Burundi’s official currency is the Franc which is represented by the FBu with an ISO code of BIF. The Banque de la Republique du Burundi which is Burundi’s central bank is concerned with printing, issuing, and administering the Burundian Francs. The Burundian Francs in circulation are denominated in coins by 1, 5, 10, and 50 francs while the bank notes are denominated in 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 francs. The exchange rate of 1 US Dollars to 1 Burundian Franc is 2,053 BIF as of April 2022.
8. Congolese Franc
The official currency of the Democratic Republic of Congo is the Congolese Franc which is denoted by FC and an ISO code of CDF. The Central Bank of Congo is responsible for the printing, issuing, and administering of the Congolese Franc. The Congolese Francs are denominated in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50, centimes; 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 francs notes. As of April 2022, 1 US Dollar is equal to 2,000 Francs.
9. Rwandan Franc
Rwandan has the Rwandan Franc as its official currency which is symbolized by FRw, RF, and R₣ with an ISO code of RWF. The National Bank of Rwanda is responsible for printing, issuing, and managing the Rwandan Franc. The Rwandan currency is denominated in coins by 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, and 100 francs and in bank notes by 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000 francs. The exchange rate of 1 US Dollars to 1 Rwandan Franc is 1,023 RWF as of April 2022.
10. Malawian Kwacha
Sitting on the number 10 spot of the weakest currencies in Africa is the Malawian Kwacha which is the official currency of Malawi. It is denoted by K and an ISO code of MWK. The Reserve Bank of Malawi which is the central bank of Malawi is responsible for printing, issuing, and administering the Malawian Kwacha. The Malawian Kwacha is denominated in coins by 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 tambala while the Kwacha notes are denominated by 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Kwacha. The exchange rate of 1 US Dollar to the Malawian Kwacha is 809 MWK.
The kwacha is the currency of Malawi introduced in 1971, replacing the Malawian pound. The Kwacha is divided into 100 tambalas. It replaced other types of currency, namely the South African rand, the UK pound sterling, and the Rhodesian dollar, which were previously used in the Malawian economy.
Factor Contributing To Devaluation Of A Currency
Ideally, a currency does not just lose its value in a bleak of an eye, devaluation occurs as a result of some factors which play paramount roles in either giving much value to a currency or going as far as shrinking it dead and making the value of the currency become useless in the international market.
The interest rate is top and is one of the militating factors that cause a devaluation of the currency. The interest rate of a certain country assigned in or on a specific investment capital tends to pull more investors to the investment arena of such a nation. If a country maintained a very encouraging interest rate, assuredly there will be more investors even those from outside the wall of the particular country which brought about international participation and this will invariably affect the value of the nation’s currency. Therefore, saying, in essence, is that the higher the interest rate the higher the value of a nation’s currency.
Country Debts/Government Inherited Debt
Undoubtedly, this is one of the threats and reasons why the currency is devalued. Any nation especially most African countries are found of getting a loan from the international community. Sadly, some of these leaders are so corrupt that they willfully don’t want to pay back the loan within the agreed time and this act invariably pushes the debt to a new government, thus, most of the government spent time attending to a debt of over 10 years back.
This is the predominant issue in most African countries. There is inconsistency in the system of government, a lack of continuity, and the ability of any new government to promote what a new administration has started.
This is an issue happening in African nations. High inflation is a fast factor that devalues a nation’s currency quickly and as well as crushes the economy of any nation like a killer jet. Whenever there is inflation in any country, the currency values depreciate, also the total number of goods available for exportation drops, the production process is also affected as well as the distribution chain is drastically affected, this has a resultant effect on the currency value of any nation.
Like inflation, the recession is also a super buster effect that occurs due to a country’s financial error, if some rules are misapplied or new development in the business environment, when there are issues with the financial body of a particular nation, it results in a lag and downtime in the economic system of such a nation and this plays a major factor in the evaluation of a currency.
You would agree with me that the force and stability of a country’s currency are revealed by its value in the global market. In most cases, a country’s value is compared against the US Dollar to determine its strength because the US Dollar is used to transact a lot of multinational businesses and deals. The legal tender of prosperous countries is more likely to have a high value in the international market.
If you are struck by any of the top ten weakest currencies in Africa, please feel free to head over to the comment section below and tell me all about it because I am itching to read from you. What’s more? Your comments and opinions are valid and warmly welcome so please drop them in the comment section below and I would read them.