Many individuals have always craved to know the nature of the currencies of their country and how their currency is performing in the international market, Africa is no different. The high cost of living, inflation and the stock exchange market in some Africa countries has made this topic a very popular discussion. It is very important to have a clue on how your country’s currency rates outside your locality. In this article, we will be discussing on the top ten (10) weakest or cheapest currencies in Africa by measuring them against the American dollar due to its vast global use.

1) Sao Tome And Principe Dobra (STD):

This country is located on the Western equatorial coast of Central Africa. They have the poorest and lowest currency in the Africa shore Sao Tome and Principe Dobra was discovered by the Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. The Portuguese explorers were the ones that took their time to inhabit the area and it served as the trade center of Africa then. The Dobra is the currency used by this country. ($1 = STD 21050)

2) Sierra Leone (Leon):

This is the country with the second poorest currency value. It is characterised by tropical climate which has different environment ranging from rainforest to Savannah. Sierra Leone is located in West Africa and shares boundary with Guinea and some other Africa countries in that zone. Leon is the currency used in Sierra Leone.

($1 = SLL 9,740)

3) Guinea franc:

The Republic of Guinea is an extremely poor country with a population of approximately 12.9 million people as of 2016. Guinea is a country blessed with mineral resources. The country has the world’s largest reserve of bauxite as well as the largest high-grade iron ore reserves, gold and diamond included. Bauxite mining and alumina production is the major workforce in the country that provides 80 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange. The Guinea franc exchange against the dollar at ($1 = GNF 9,437.50)

4) Uganda shilling:

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A new shilling UGX worth 100 old shillings was introduced in 1987 by the government of Uganda following high inflation. The shilling is the currency used for all transactions in Uganda, yet it has a very low exchange rate to the dollar. The Uganda shilling exchange at ($1 = UGX 3,764.91)

5) Malagasy Ariary:

This country is located in the south-east of Africa. It was established in the year 1958 before it had the name democratic republic of Madagascar in late 1975. This country has one of the poorest and lowest currencies in Africa. ($1 = MDA 3,750.00)

6) Tanzania shilling

(sign: TSH, code: TZS). The Tanzania shilling is subdivided into 100 Senti (cent in English). It was introduced 14th of june 1966 to replace the East Africa shilling. The Tanzania government despite being ambitious to develop and attract foreign investment through creating a better business environment and access to finance and enabling infrastructure, have sadly been hindered by an ancient structural issue like wide spread corruption in government and mismanagement of public funds. This as well has resulted in the low purchasing power of the Tanzania franc which exchange at ($1 = TZS 2,313.90)

7) Burundi franc:

The Burundi franc is the official currency of Burundi. Due to the weak economy of Burundi 53 percent of the citizens are living below poverty line. The nation depend heavily on humanitarian aid from other countries. The Burundi franc exchange at ($1 = BIF 1,901.00)

8) Congolese franc:

Before it gains it republic in 1971 it was known as the kingdom of congo. Congo has various endemic features and different demographic experience for tourist to enjoy. The Congolese franc exchange at ($1 = CDF 1,711.00)

9) Rwanda franc

The Belgian Congo was used in Rwanda until 1960 when the Rwanda and Burundi franc was introduced. Rwanda began issuing its own francs in 1964. The Rwanda franc was quite a surprising addition to this list, because to an extent, the economic development and achievement deserve applause. But however there exist the stainable and self-defeating policy of import substitution and expansionary fiscal policy. The Rwanda franc exchanges at ($1 = RWF 137.50).

10) The Malawi kwacha

The Malawian pound was replaced by kwacha in 1971. The kwacha is the official currency in Malawi. The kwacha is divided into 100 tambalas. Malawi is located in East Africa, some of the reasons for the weak valuation of the kwacha could be due to the microeconomic instability, political inconsistency, high corruption, poor infrastructure and many other things that could hinder economic growth. The Malawi kwacha exchanges at ($1 = MWK 737.50).

Zimbabwe, however, has managed to stabilise its currency the Zimdollar ZWL after adopting the foreign currency auction system that has seen the rate maintained at around ZWL$81, 5 per US$1 as of Tuesday.


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