Could There Eventually Be a Single African Currency?

Posted by Allison on 4 June 2014, 08:49

There are many different currencies in use in Africa today. The rand is perhaps the most familiar to people in general, as this is used in South Africa along with Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. Elsewhere there are mostly national currencies in use, such as the Algerian dinar, the Cape Verdean escudo and the Djibouti franc. However other areas use the Central African franc – these include Chad, Republic of the Congo and Gabon. There is also a West African franc that is used in Benin and Burkina Faso among other areas.

As you can see, Africa has much in common with Europe as it once stood. Here we had lots of countries that used different countries before the European Union was formed and the euro was introduced as a common currency. Every country that wanted to adopt the euro had to meet a specific set of conditions to get in and start using it. Now lots of countries use the single currency.

So could the same happen in Africa as well?

Thoughts on this very subject have been floating around for some time. The basic idea started coming to fruition with the signing of the Abuja Treaty back in 1991. This led to the creation of the African Economic Community. In turn there is now an African Central Bank which would bring in and manage the single currency when it came into being. It could however be some time yet before this happens, since the deadline for it occurring is 2028. Even then this only relates to the creation of the bank itself, not to the creation of the single currency.

No doubt the people in charge in these African countries have been watching the adoption of the euro very closely indeed. This European experiment has essentially played out as a lesson in what to expect if or when the African continent decides to adopt its own single currency.

This could well happen at some point in the future but there is no need or suggestion to rush into it. Indeed, taking their time could be the best move those in charge on the continent could make. It may turn out to lead to a more successful outcome as a result.