What type of currency is used in Cameroon?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Understanding Cameroon’s Currency

Cameroon is a country located in Central Africa with a rich cultural heritage and vibrant economy. Like many other African nations, Cameroon has its own currency system that has evolved over the years. Understanding the currency system in Cameroon is crucial for anyone planning to visit or do business in the country. This article will discuss the history of Cameroon’s currency, the Central African CFA franc, and other currencies that are commonly used in the country.

History of Cameroon’s Currency

Cameroon has a long history of trading in various objects such as shells, beads, and elephant tusks. However, the first official currency used in Cameroon was introduced during the German colonization in the late 19th century. The German East African rupie was used in Cameroon until 1916 when the British and French took control of the country. The French introduced the franc as the official currency, which was later replaced by the Central African CFA franc.

The Central African CFA Franc

The Central African CFA franc is the currency used in Cameroon today. It is also used in other Central African countries, including Chad, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. The CFA franc was introduced in 1945 by the French government to replace the franc, which was then the official currency used in the French colonies.

What is the CFA franc?

The CFA franc is a currency that is pegged to the euro, which means that its value is fixed against the euro. It is issued by the Central Bank of Central African States (BEAC) in collaboration with the French Treasury. The CFA franc has two subdivisions: the Central African CFA franc (XAF) and the West African CFA franc (XOF). These two currencies have the same value and are interchangeable in the countries that use them.

How the CFA Franc came to be used in Cameroon

Cameroon gained independence from France in 1960 and adopted the CFA franc as its official currency. This was a natural progression since Cameroon was a former French colony, and the CFA franc was already in use in other French-speaking African countries. The CFA franc has remained the official currency in Cameroon ever since.

What is the exchange rate of the CFA franc?

The exchange rate of the CFA franc to other currencies varies depending on the country and the exchange rate regime in place. However, the CFA franc is pegged to the euro, which means that its value is fixed against the euro at a rate of 1 euro to 655.957 CFA francs.

Advantages of using the CFA franc in Cameroon

The use of the CFA franc in Cameroon has several advantages. Firstly, it provides stability in the economy since the exchange rate is fixed against the euro. Secondly, it makes it easier for businesses to trade since they do not have to worry about fluctuating exchange rates. Thirdly, it simplifies transactions since the CFA franc is widely accepted in the country.

Drawbacks of using the CFA franc in Cameroon

The use of the CFA franc in Cameroon has some drawbacks. Firstly, it limits the country’s ability to control its own monetary policy since the currency is controlled by the French Treasury. Secondly, it is often associated with the legacy of colonialism, which has led to criticism from some quarters. Finally, the fixed exchange rate can be disadvantageous to exporters who may find it difficult to compete with other countries whose currencies are weaker.

Other currencies used in Cameroon

Apart from the CFA franc, other currencies are also used in Cameroon. The US dollar is widely accepted in some parts of the country, especially in the tourist areas. The euro is also accepted in some places, although it is not as widely used as the CFA franc.

Can you use US dollars in Cameroon?

Yes, you can use US dollars in Cameroon, but it is advisable to change them to CFA francs first. This is because some businesses may not accept foreign currencies, and those that do may offer unfavourable exchange rates.

Tips for exchanging currency in Cameroon

When exchanging currency in Cameroon, it is advisable to use official exchange bureaus or banks. These are likely to offer better rates than unofficial money changers. It is also important to check the exchange rate before making a transaction to avoid being ripped off.

Conclusion: Understanding Cameroon’s Currency Landscape

Understanding the currency system in Cameroon is crucial for anyone planning to visit or do business in the country. The Central African CFA franc is the official currency in Cameroon and is widely accepted throughout the country. However, other currencies such as the US dollar and the euro are also used in some parts of the country. When exchanging currency, it is advisable to use official exchange bureaus or banks to avoid being ripped off.

Photo of author

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.

Leave a Comment