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More than Two-thirds of Africa’s 54 Countries Print their Money Overseas

A recent article that examines why many African countries outsource their currency production has revealed that over 40 African countries print their money in the UK, France and Germany — decades after independence. According to the article, countries like Ethiopia, Libya and Angola — along with 14 other countries — place orders from British banknote printing giant De La Rue. Furthermore, six or seven other nations, including South Sudan, Tanzania and Mauritania, are said to print theirs in Germany’s Giesecke+Devrient. At the same time, most French-speaking African countries are known to print their money with France’s central bank and with the French printing company Oberthur Fiduciaire. Only a handful of African countries, like Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya have enough resources to print their own currencies or mint their own coins, and even they sometimes supplement production with imports. African countries have been formulating plans to boost intra-African trade. There is currently more trade with Western and Eastern countries than there is within the continent. Printing banknotes in Africa would boost profits on the continent and, at least theoretically, African countries could choose those with printing capabilities since there’s likely some idle capacity.