Africa’s Best-performing Currency Gains Momentum From Gambia Tourism


The Gambian currency, Dalasi, is poised to continue its impressive performance as Africa’s best-performing currency for the year.

This growth is fuelled by increased remittances and tourism revenues, according to the Governor of the nation’s central bank.

In the current year, the Dalasi has appreciated by 0.9% against the US dollar, surpassing all other 23 African currencies tracked by Bloomberg and joining the ranks of the three currencies that have shown appreciation.

Governor Buah Saidy attributed this success to external budget support and disbursements received as part of an International Monetary Fund program. He shared these insights during an interview conducted in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday.

Going forward, we expect the dalasi to appreciate slightly against major trading currencies, especially the US dollar because we see remittances growing,” Saidy said. “Our tourism season starts from October through December, so there will be inflows of foreign exchange from there as well,” he stated.

Gambia received $129.7 million from citizens living abroad in the first two months of this year, compared with $507 million in 2022, according to the most recent central bank data. Tourist arrivals surged to 174,490 last year from 102,460 a year earlier, after slumping to 89,232 in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gambia recorded remittances of $129.7 million from its diaspora in the initial two months of the current year.

This amount marks a decrease compared to the $507 million received in 2022, according to the central bank.

Meanwhile, the nation experienced a rebound in tourism, with tourist arrivals surging to 174,490 in the previous year, up from 102,460 in the preceding year.

This resurgence followed a dip to 89,232 in 2020, attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global travel.

The Dalasi is also expected to receive further support from peanut exports as the harvest season commences next month, Saidy said.

Consumer price inflation in Gambia accelerated for a second consecutive month to 18.4% in July. Price growth will likely peak in December, before falling to less than 10% by mid-next year, he said.

Gambia is negotiating a new program with the IMF after completing a 39-month extended credit facility worth $94 million in June.

Source: Business Insider