Every African country would like to have its name on the list of most valuable currencies on the continent – some for genuine reasons such as as a measure of economic indicator, others want to be on the list simply to boost their ego.
The value of a country’s currency is usually measured against the United States dollar, which is the world’s hegemony currency. The lower the units that equals 1usd, the more valuable the currency is perceived to be.
Below is a list of the most valuable currencies in Africa and how many units of each equals one dollar.
- Tunisian Dinar ($1=2.88ﺩ .ﺕ)
- Libyan Dinar ($1= 4.58 ﻝ .)
- Ghanaian Cedis ($1= GH₵ 6.16)
- Moroccan Dirham ($1=DH 8.99)
- Botswana Pula ($1= 11.32P)
- Seychellois Rupees ($1=SRe 12.92)
- South African Rand ($1= 15.27)
- Eritrean Nafka ($1=Nfk 15.00)
- Egyptian Pound ($1 = E£ 15.71)
- Zambian Kwacha ($1=ZK 17.20)
Though the value of a country’s currency can be seen as an economic indicator, it is not a reliable way to measure the economic performance of a country.
Other tools measure economic performance better like GDP (gross domestic product) which measures the total amount of goods and services produced in an economy over a particular period of time. And perhaps the best measure of economic performance is the GDP per Capita of a country which measures the average contribution of each individual to a country’s economy over a period of 1 year.
The value of a country’s currency as measured against the United States dollar is not reliable because most governments can manipulate it for different reasons. For example, the government in Nigeria has been fixing the price of forex and selling forex to citizens in an attempt to mitigate the exchange from falling further than it already has.
By the way, the Nigerian naira exchanges for N417/1$ at official market and at over N570/1$ at the black market. This is despite Nigeria having the highest GDP on the continent and one of its best performing economies.
In conclusion, a country’s currency is not a good measure of economic indicator, tho the rapid rise of a currency might indicate inflation and poor economic management. It is good and always better to have a strong currency over a weak one.