What is the Currency of Angola?

By Joyce Chepkemoi on August 1 2017 in Economics

Angolan kwanza banknotes.

The Angolan kwanza is the official currency of Angola. The symbol for kwanza is Kz and its currency code is AOA. Since 1977, four different currencies have used the name kwanza. The current Angolan kwanza was introduced to in 1999 as a replacement for the kwanza reajustado, which had a currency code of AOR. The currency is subdivided into denominations of 100 centimos. The Angolan kwanza is managed and issued by the Banco National de Angola (National Bank of Angola). Euros are scarcely accepted in the country, but US dollars American are often used by travellers. At present, the exchange rate of the Angolan kwanza is equal to 0.00602585 US dollar.

Evolution of the Angolan Kwanza

Following the independence of Angola, the first kwanza was introduced in 1977 to replace the escudo at par. This first kwanza was subdivided into 100 Iwei and had a currency code of AOK. Coins issued did not include the year of minting, but bore '11 de Novembre de 1975' to mark the date of the country's independence. Coins were produced in denominations of 10, 5, 2, 1 and 50 Iwei. In 1978, 20 kwanza coins were introduced to the country, but then discontinued in 1979. In 1977, the National Bank of Angola also introduced banknotes dated '11 DE NOVEMBRO DE 1975' in denominations of 1,000, 500, 100, 50 and 20 kwanzas. However, in the year that followed the 20 kwanza banknote was replaced by a coin.

Novo Kwanza

The novo kwanza was introduced in Angola in 1990, and had a cucurrency code of AON. Despite the novo kwanza replacing the first kwanza, the country's citizens could only exchange 5% of all the old notes for the new currency, and the remainder had to be exchanged for government securities. As a result, the novo kwanza suffered high inflation. The novo kwanza was only issued in form of banknotes. It is believed the first novo kwanza notes were overprints on notes issued earlier in denominations of 5,000, 1,000, 500, and 50, although this have never been confirmed. The term "novo" was dropped from the issue of regular banknotes for 500,000, 100,000, 50,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, and 100 kwanzas in 1991.

Kwanza Reajustado

The kwanza reajustado, whose currency code was AOR, was introduced in Angola in 1995. The currency replaced the novo kwanza at a rate of 1,000 to 1. No coins were ever issued, given the country's ongoing problems of inflation. Due to the low value of the old kwanza, the smallest issue of the kwanza reajustado notes was the 1,000 denomination, the rest being 5,000,000, 1,000,000, 500,000, 100,000, 50,000, 10,000 and 5,000 kwanzas.

Current Kwanza

The current official currency of Angola is the second kwanza whose code is AOA; it was introduced to the country in 1999. At a rate of 1,000,000 to 1, the kwanza was the replacement for the kwanza reajustado. The introduction of the kwanza currency led to the reintroduction of coins subdivided into 100 centimos. Currently, the value of the kwanza is stable despite the currency suffering from high inflation. Between 2012 and 2014, new coins in denominations of 20, 10, 5, and 1 kwanzas, together with 50 centimos, were introduced to the country. On March 22, 2013, the National Bank of Angola issued a new series of banknotes in denominations of 500, 200, 100, and 50 kwanzas. In May of the same year, denominations of 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000 kwanzas were issued. The bank also issued banknotes in denominations of 10 and 5 kwanzas in 2017, but as part the family of banknotes first introduced in 2012.

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