What currency is used in Madagascar?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Introduction to Madagascar’s Currency

Madagascar is a country located in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. Its official currency is the Malagasy ariary, which has been the country’s currency since 2005. The ariary is abbreviated as MGA and is divided into 5 iraimbilanja, which means "five coins" in Malagasy.

Historical Development of Malagasy Ariary

Before the ariary, Madagascar used the Malagasy franc as its currency since its independence from France in 1960. In 2003, the government began a program to replace the franc with the ariary, which was a symbolic reference to the country’s pre-colonial currency. The ariary was introduced in 2005, and the franc was phased out over the next two years.

The Denomination of Banknotes and Coins

Currently, there are 8 denominations of banknotes in circulation in Madagascar: 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 ariary. There are also 7 denominations of coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ariary. The coins are made of nickel and aluminum, while the banknotes are made of polymer to increase their durability.

Central Bank of Madagascar and Monetary Policy

The central bank of Madagascar is the Banque Centrale de Madagascar, which is responsible for implementing monetary policy and maintaining price stability. It also oversees the commercial banks in the country and manages the foreign exchange reserves. The monetary policy is aimed at promoting economic growth while keeping inflation under control.

Exchange Rates of Malagasy Ariary

The exchange rate of the ariary is determined by the market forces of supply and demand. The US dollar is widely accepted in Madagascar, and many prices are quoted in both ariary and dollars. As of 2021, the exchange rate is around 3,600 ariary to 1 US dollar.

How to Obtain Malagasy Ariary

The easiest way to obtain ariary is to exchange foreign currency at banks, exchange bureaus, or hotels. ATMs are also widespread and accept major credit and debit cards. However, it is advisable to carry some cash as not all places accept cards.

Acceptance of Foreign Currencies in Madagascar

Foreign currencies, especially the US dollar and the euro, are widely accepted in Madagascar. However, it is advisable to use ariary for local transactions as the exchange rate may not be favorable for foreign currencies.

Restrictions on Import and Export of Currency

There are no restrictions on the import or export of currency in Madagascar. However, travelers are required to declare any amount of currency exceeding 10,000 euros or its equivalent in other currencies.

Economic Significance of Malagasy Ariary

The ariary plays a crucial role in Madagascar’s economy, which is largely dependent on agriculture, mining, and tourism. The stability of the currency is vital for attracting foreign investment and promoting economic growth.

Tips for Handling Money in Madagascar

It is advisable to carry small denomination notes and coins for everyday transactions. Credit and debit cards may not be accepted in remote areas, so it is advisable to carry cash. It is also important to be aware of the current exchange rates to avoid being overcharged.

Future Developments of Malagasy Ariary

The central bank of Madagascar is working towards improving the security features of the banknotes and coins to prevent counterfeiting. It is also exploring the possibility of introducing higher denomination banknotes to facilitate large transactions.

Conclusion: Understanding Madagascar’s Currency

The Malagasy ariary is the official currency of Madagascar, which has been in use since 2005. Understanding the denomination of banknotes and coins, the role of the central bank, and the exchange rates is crucial for anyone traveling or doing business in Madagascar. By following the tips for handling money and staying updated on future developments, one can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience with the currency.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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