In January 2024, exchange rates were most affected by foreign reserves, raw resource prices, and demand for the U.S. dollar. Countries like Zambia are experiencing a decrease in revenue due to falling prices of raw resources, such as metals. Some countries are struggling to hold onto their U.S. dollar foreign reserves. This can cause delays in both domestic and international payments, making it difficult to exchange goods.

Currencies Losing Value Against the U.S. Dollar:

ZMW – Zambian Kwacha

Copper and metal prices continued to fall, affecting Zambia’s exports. New regulations require exporters to have Zambian bank accounts to receive payments. Interest rates were raised 200 basis points, which raised borrowing costs.


NGN – Nigerian Naira

Nigeria’s foreign reserves reached new lows due to extensive borrowing. The naira decreased steadily over the last half of 2023 since the government allowed the rate to move more freely. Nigeria received financing from the African Export-Import Bank to help ease access for oil exports and increase the potential of Nigeria’s economy.


ZWL – Zimbabwean Dollar

Demand for the Zim dollar plummeted due to increased taxes and a strong demand for the U.S. dollar.  Revenue decreased in a similar manner due to the mining sector’s lower prices. Most wages are paid in local currency while the majority of transactions are in U.S. dollars, causing a race to exchange Zim dollars to USD. This relationship causes an increasing cascading effect on the price for the U.S. dollar, making it difficult for workers to afford goods and services.

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