Weakest African Currencies 2023 – Top 10 Cheapest

This time we are going to be looking at the top 10 weakest currencies in Africa. A country’s currency speaks volumes about the general well being of its people and its economy at large. Most people usually pay attention to the strongest currencies that exist and barely ever bother to know the weak ones.

Having a knowledge of the lowest or least currencies in Africa is also very important if you have investment or travelling decisions to make. Or only as a way of broadening your knowledge of the African economy and ranking of countries in Africa economically.

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We are going to know the cheapest currencies in Africa and the exchange rate using US dollars. The focus is on the cost or how much of a local currency can be used to get a dollar. We are pitching it against the US dollar since it is generally believed to be the global currency.

Factors that Determines The Weakness / Strength Of Currencies In African Countries

The value of currencies is determined by several factors:

  • GDP
  • decreasing falling prices of commodities, I.e,  inflation
  • political instability
  • Current Account Balance
  • Economic Policies

Weakest African Currencies

Here are brief summary of the weakest or least currencies in Africa

 10. Malawian Kwacha (MK, MWK)

     1 US Dollar = 833 Malawian Kwacha

The Malawian Kwacha is devided into 100 tambala. It is the official currency of Malawi with an exchange rate of $1 equal to 833 Malawian Kwacha in May 2022.

In 1971, the kwacha replaces all other types of currency formerly used by the Malawians. The currencies formerly used in the country were the UK pound sterling, the South African rand and the Rhodesian dollars.

9. Rwanda Franc (FRw, RF, Rf)

1 US Dollar = 1020 Rwanda Franc

The Rwanda Franc is subdivided into centimes. This is equivalent to the cents. The currency was introduced in 1964. Prior to its introduction, the country had used the Belgian Congo Franc and German East African rupee. Belgium and Germany were her former colonial masters.

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The 1994 genocide destroyed Rwanda’s fragile economy. It diminished the population, particularly women and eroded the country’s ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made significant progress in the stability and rehabilitation of its economy.

 8. Congolese Franc (CF)

   1 US Dollar = 2000 Congolese Franc

The Congolese Franc is subdivided into 100 centimes. One US dollar equalled 2000 Congolese Fran in May 2022.

The cheap value of the Congolese franc is due to the decline in the economy of the Congo since the1980s. At the time of its independence in 1960, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the second most industrialised country in Africa just after South Africa.

Since the 1980s corruption, war and political instability have had a severe impact on the economy of the country. They have lived with a GDP, Per Capital and HDI rating that runs among the least developed countries in the world.

 7. Burundian Franc (FBu)

  1 US Dollars = 2040 Burundian Franc

Another cheapest currency in Africa is the Burundian Franc. The Burundian Franc is subdivided into 100 centimes. The coin version of the Burundian currency has never been issued by the country’s apex bank since it start using its own currency.

Though her former currency, the Belgian Congo Franc issued coins.  Burundi started using the Burundian Franc in 1964. Since its introduction in 1964, the Burundian franc has experienced a steady decline.

There has been a plan by the East African country with other countries to introduce a common currency but it has not come to fruition.

6. Tanzania shilling (TSh)

   1 US Dollar = 2320 Tanzania shilling

The shilling is the currency of Tanzania. It is Subdivided into 100 senti. That is cent in English. The East African shilling was her official currency until it was replaced by the Tanzania shilling on 14th, June 1966.

In recent years Tanzania has been able to keep her currency away from dropping further down against the dollar. For the past two years, they have been able to maintain it in the region of 2200-2300 Tanzania shilling to a dollar.

5. Malagasy Ariary (Ar)

 1 US Dollars = 4000 Malagasy Ariary

Another weak currency in Africa is Malagasy Ariary. Malagasy Ariary is the currency of Madagascar. It is divided into 5 iraimbilanja. Both the ariary and iraimbilanja has their names rooted to pre-colonial currency. However, the iraimbijanja has fallen into disuse due to its loss of value.

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The Ar was introduced in1961. It was equivalent to 5 Malagasy francs following the introduction. On the 1st of January, the currency replaced the franc as its official currency.

4. Uganda shilling (USh)

   1 US Dollar = 3571 Uganda shilling

Shilling is the currency used by people in Uganda. The currency replaced the East African shilling in 1966. A new shilling was later introduced to cushion the effect of the poor value of the USh. This was the UGX.  It was worth 100 of the old shilling.

Although, the shilling is the official currency of the country they also make use of US dollars and pound sterling for transactions.

3. Guinean franc (FG, Fr, GFr)

   1 US Dollar = 9091 Guinean franc

One dollar equals 9091 Guinean Fran as of May 2022. The currency, the Guinean franc is subdivided into 100 centimes The first Guinean franc was introduced in 1959.

In 1985, a second Guinean franc was reintroduced as Guineas’ currency. It was at par with a secondly with initially introduced syli in 1971. The syli was pecked at 1 syli to 10 francs.

2. Sierra Leon Leone (Le)

 1 US Dollars = 12658 Sierra Leon Leone

The Leone was divided into 100 cents. The cents are no longer in use owing to their poor value. It was originally introduced in 1964. It replaced the West African pound.

Since its introduction in 1964, it has had more value than the dollar. 1 leone equals 1.4 dollars. It was in the 1980s the currency experienced a sharp decline.

1. Sao Tome and Principe Dobra (STD)

 1 US Dollars = 21,000 Sierra Leon Leone

The Sao Tome and Principe Dobra is the weakest currency in Africa in 2022. One STD is made up of 100 centimos The currency was introduced in 1977.

It replaced the escudo. The escudo was a version of the Portuguese own currency. At the time of its introduction, it has the same value as the Portuguese currency.

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