Top 15 Highest Currencies in Africa in 2023

A currency (from Middle English: curraunt, “in circulation”), in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins. Currencies are defined by governments, and each type has limited boundaries of acceptance. They are recognized as stores of value and are traded between nations in foreign exchange markets, which determine the relative values of the different currencies. U.S. dollars (US$), euros (€), Japanese yen (¥), and pounds sterling (£) are examples of popular currencies.

The name Africa derives from the Latin aprica (“sunny”) or the Greek aphrike (“without cold”). Africa is the second largest continent (after Asia) and covers about one-fifth of the total land surface of the Earth. The Equator passes approximately through its centre, thus imparting a tropical and sunny climate throughout most of the continent. It is incredibly rich in mineral resources like fossil fuels, metallic ores, and gems and precious metals, as well as biological resources like equatorial rainforests and diverse species of wildlife.

African currency traditionally consisted of an interesting variety of items available in the locality including salt, cowrie shells, beads, blankets, axes, arrowheads, iron, cattle, goats and even people! 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. There rudimentary mediums of exchange were gradually replaced by more acceptable and tradeable currency.

List of Strongest Currencies In Africa

  • #15. Sudanese Pound

    The Sudanese pound is issued by the Central Bank of Sudan. Its value is linked to gold and convertible into foreign currencies. There are no restrictions on money transfers to and from Sudan. It has been pegged to the United States dollar since around 1984.

    1 Sudanese Pound = 0.018 US Dollar
    Currency Code = SDP
    Sudanese Pound

  • #14. Mauritanian Ouguiya

    The name ouguiya is the Hassaniya Arabic pronunciation of awqiyyah meaning “ounce”. It is one of two circulating currencies, along with the Malagasy ariary of Madagascar, whose division units are not based on a power of ten. Each ouguiya also spelled “ougiya”, constitutes five khoums (meaning “one fifth”).

    1 Mauritanian Ouguiya = 0.026 US Dollar
    Currency Code = MRU
    Mauritanian Ouguiya

  • #13. Mauritian Rupee

    The British captured Mauritius in the early 19th century and Pound Sterling became its official currency. It was replaced by the then popular Indian Rupee in 1876, which eventually gave way to the Mauritian Rupee. Mauritius and Seychelles, are the only two African currencies that use rupee as their official currency unit. One Mauritian rupee equals 100 cents.

    1 Mauritian Rupee = 0.025 US Dollar
    Currency Code = MUR
    Mauritian Rupee

  • #12. Ethiopian Birr

    The birr was known as the Ethiopian Dollar prior to 1976. Before that, upto 1931, it was called the Abyssinian birr; Abyssinia being the former name of Ethiopia. 186 billion birr were in circulation in 2008 ($14.7 billion or €9.97 billion). In the 18th and 19th centuries, Maria Theresa thalers and blocks of salt called “amole tchew” served as currency in Ethiopia. The thaler was known locally as the Birr (literally meaning “silver” in Ge’ez and Amharic) or talari.

    1 Ethiopian Birr = 0.029 US Dollar
    Currency Code = ETB
    Ethiopian Birr

  • #11. São Tomé and Príncipe dobra

    The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (English: Saint Thomas and Prince) is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea. Virtually uninhabited until their discovery by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, the islands collectively served as a vital commercial and trade center for the Atlantic slave trade. The name derives from Portuguese dóbra, meaning “doubloon”.

    1 São Tomé and Príncipe dobra = 0.046 US Dollar
    Currency Code = STD
    São Tomé and Príncipe dobra

  • #10. Egyptian Pound

    The Genēh Maṣri or the Egyptian Pound is the currency of Egypt. The name Genēh is derived from the guinea, a coin of approximately one-quarter ounce of gold. The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, where much of the gold used to make the coins originated.

    1 Egyptian Pound = 0.063 US Dollar
    Currency Code = EGP
    Egyptian Pound

  • #9. Eritrean Nakfa

    The currency takes its name from the Eritrean town of Nakfa, site of the first major victory of the Eritrean War of Independence. The nakfa banknotes were designed by Clarence Holbert, an Afro-American banknote designer, of the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1994. They are printed by German currency printer Giesecke & Devrient.

    1 Eritrean Nakfa = 0.066 US Dollar
    Currency Code = ERN
    Eritrean Nakfa

  • #8. South African Rand

    The rand is legal tender in the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia, although the last three countries do have their own currencies pegged at par with the rand. Before 1976, the rand was legal tender in Botswana, and was replaced by the Botswanan pula. The rand takes its name from the Witwatersrand (“white waters’ ridge” in English), the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa’s gold deposits were found.

    1 South African Rand = 0.58 US Dollar
    Currency Code = ZAR
    South African Rand

  • #7. Seychellois Rupee

    The Republic of Seychelles is the smallest country, by population, to have an independent monetary policy. The currency is called roupi in the local Seychellois Creole (Seselwa) language.

    1 Seychellois Rupee = 0.54 US Dollar
    Currency Code = SCR
    Seychellois Rupee

  • #6. Zambian Kwacha

    “New dawn of freedom” is the Zambian nationalist slogan and not surprisingly kwacha derives from the Bantu word for dawn. The Zambian kwacha was first issued in 1968 to replace the Zambian pound.

    1 Zambian Kwacha = 0.55 US Dollar
    Currency Code = ZMW
    Zambian Kwacha

  • #5. Botswanan Pula

    The word Pula translates as rain or blessing in the Tswana language. Rain being extremely scarce in Botswana, home of the Kalahari Desert, is considered valuable and therefore a blessing.
    The Botswanan Pula became widely known internationally through numerous references in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, making it possible for readers worldwide to get an idea of the Pula’s purchasing power.

    1 Botswanan Pula = 0.086 US Dollar
    Currency Code = BWP
    Botswanan Pula

  • #4. Moroccan Dirham

    The central bank of Morocco, the Bank Al-Maghrib issues the Moroccan Dirham which is the official monetary currency of the Kingdom of Morocco.

    1 Moroccan Dirham = 0.11 US Dollar
    Currency Code = MAD
    Moroccan Dirham

  • #3. Ghanaian Cedi

    The Ghanaian Cedi has been legal tender in the Republic of Ghana since 2007. The word cedi is the Akan word for cowrie shell, which were formerly used as currency in what is now Ghana. One cedi is divided into one hundred pesewas.

    1 Ghanaian Cedi = 0.17 US Dollar
    Currency Code = GHS
    Ghanaian Cedi

  • #2. Tunisian Dinar

    The name dinar is derived from the Roman denarius. Carthage, which is now modern day Tunisia once being a Roman Province. It is a criminal offence in Tunisia to import or export dinar. Every year, each citizen can convert into foreign currency up to 6,000 Tunisian dinars before departure from the country.

    1 Tunisian Dinar = 0.36 US Dollar
    Currency Code = TND
    Tunisian Dinar

  • #1. Libyan Dinar

    The Libyan Dinar is issued by the Central Bank of Libya, which also supervises the banking system and regulates credit. The CBL has a programme that only sells a limited number of dollars to its citizens. This coupled with the burgeoning revenues from the petroleum sector has further bolstered the popular currency.

    1 Libyan Dinar = 0.73 US Dollar
    Currency Code = LYD
    Libyan Dinar


That is all on the list of the top 15 highest currency in Africa as of 2023. Hopefully, you found this post useful. Keep visiting us for more updates from the world of foreign exchange and finance.

See also: Top 10 Lowest African Currencies

FAQs About Africa’s Highest and Strongest Currencies

Which currency is the highest in Africa 2023?
Libyan Dinar is the highest currency in Africa in 2023. 1 Libyan Dinar equals 0.73 United States Dollar.

What is the world’s weakest currency?
Iranian Rial is the weakest currency in the world. 1 US Dollar = 42,105.00 Iranian Rial. Here’s the list of Top 15 Lowest Currency in the World.

What is the strongest currency in the world?
Kuwaiti Dinar is the strongest currency in the world in 2023. 1 Kuwaiti Dinar equals 3.24 United States Dollar. Check out the List of Highest Currencies in the World.