Currency Markets in Africa: Ghana Now The Star Of The Region


Friday, February 28, 2020 / 5:28 PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Shutterstock


Analysis of Pan African foreign exchange condition showed that the performance was mixed in 2019. Over the review period, local currencies in Egypt (+11.7%), Tunisia (+7.7%), South Africa (+2.4%) and Kenya (+0.4%) strengthened, against the US dollar, thanks increased Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) inflows. On the other hand, local currencies in Angola (-36.0%), Ghana (-14.0%) and Mauritius (-5.6%) weakened against the greenback. Meanwhile, a continued intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria kept the naira largely stable through 2019.

Notably, Egyptian pound benefited from the dividend of recent reforms as well as increasing stability which continue to buoy inflows from tourism. Also, the South African rand shrugged-off a raft of negatives headlines, notably the faltering momentum in the economy, the risk of a credit-rating downgrade to junk, and a failing state-owned electricity company. On the contrary, the Angolan kwanza suffered from the Central Bank's continued control measures on the exchange rate since abandoning the peg to the USD in Jan-18.

Thus far in 2020, the Ghanaian cedi have strengthened up to 7.0% against the greenback, emerging as the best performer in 2020. The strong performance was buoyed by the country's attractive growth story, an above 10.0% real yields at the local bond market as well as a successful Eurobond issuance in Feb-2020. Meanwhile, currencies across other SSA countries under our watch have weakened against the dollar with South Africa being the worst performer as global risk continues to rise amid the outbreak of Coronavirus which have weighed on commodity prices which account for the bulk of export earnings. Also, weak economic structure in some countries and regulatory uncertainties in others remains a headwind to currency performance in 2020.


Top African Stories

  • South Africa Raises Funds for State Airline to $1.1 Billion: South Africa almost doubled the level of funding for the national airline to 16.4 billion rand ($1.1 billion), cash that will go toward supporting a restructuring plan for the technically insolvent carrier. Read more

  • Guinea's Conde Says Third Term Should be Allowable as Vote Nears: Guinean President Alpha Conde said it should be permissible to stand as country leader for a third term as the nation prepares for a referendum that will allow him to extend his 10-year rule. Read more

  • Liberian former IMF Africa chief named as deputy managing director: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Tuesday nominated former IMF official Antoinette Sayeh to become a deputy managing director at the Fund. Read more

  • Ethiopia asks U.S. to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam: Ethiopia has asked the United States to postpone what was expected to be the final round of talks on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam, it said on Wednesday, delaying the potential resolution of a dispute that sparked a years-long diplomatic crisis. Read more

  • South African unions threaten protests over public sector wages: South African trade unions on Wednesday threatened protests, after they said the government wanted to renege on the terms of a public sector wage deal struck in 2018. Read more


Looking Forward



Feb-2020 Net Reserves - March 15th



Feb-2020 Gross Reserves - March 16th



Jan-2020 Money Supply - March 12th

Mar-2020 Benchmark Interest Rate - March 19th



Mar-2020 Interest Rate - March 13th



Jan-2020 Money Supply - February 28th

Mar-2020 Interest Rate Announcement - March 12th



Feb-2020 CPI YoY - March 16th

Feb-2020 Money Supply - March 17th



Q4-2019 GDP - March 3rd


South Africa

Q4-2019 GDP - March 3rd Feb-2020 Net Reserves - March 6th


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