What Currency Do They Use In Ivory Coast: Expert Tell You

Ivory Coast's currency - the West African CFA franc - is the official form of money used. Exchange rates and handling tips are also discussed.

Overview of Ivory Coast’s Currency

     The **primary currency used in Ivory Coast** is the West African CFA franc. It shares the same value and backing as the currencies used in several other [West African nations](<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Africa>)**West African countries**. The CFA franc was adopted by the former French colonies in **ivory coast** after independence, including Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin, Togo, and others. The **CFA franc is linked to the euro** with a fixed exchange rate, meaning that **1 euro is always equal to 655.957 CFA francs**.

More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

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Official Currency of Ivory Coast

 The official currency used in **Ivory Coast** is the **West African CFA franc**. The CFA franc has been the legal tender in **Ivory Coast** since its independence from France in 1960. Some key facts about the CFA franc as the currency of Ivory Coast:
  • The CFA franc was created in 1945 and stands for Colonies Françaises d’Afrique French Colonies of Africa.

  • It has the ISO 4217 currency code XOF and the official currency symbol CFA.

  • The CFA franc is issued by the Bank of the West African States (BCEAO), which serves the eight WAEMU countries, including Ivory Coast.

  • The CFA franc has a fixed exchange rate of 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs. It is pegged to the euro, former French franc.

  • CFA banknotes come in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 francs.

  • The CFAF has high stability due to its peg to the euro and supervision of the French central bank. However, it also means the BCEAO has little control over monetary policy.

  • Cash and traveler’s checks are widely used in Ivory Coast, though major credit cards are accepted by larger businesses and hotels.

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Exchange Rates and Availability

CFA francs can be easily exchanged for major currencies like the euro and US dollar at numerous exchange bureaus throughout Ivory Coast. The process is fairly simple and straightforward.

The CFA franc has a fixed exchange rate with the euro of 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs. This peg has been maintained since 1994. The exchange rate against the US dollar varies slightly with market fluctuations but averages around 580 CFA francs to 1 USD.

Visitors can easily find reliable exchange offices at banks, hotels, and stores dealing in foreign exchange, especially in major cities like Abidjan, Yamoussoukro and Bouaké. Some key facts:

  • The official exchange rate is published daily by the Bank of the West African States (BCEAO) Central bank of West African States, CFA’s issuing institution.

  • Hotels and major retailers will also provide exchange services alongside the official money changers.

  • Exchange rates offered by different bureaus may vary slightly due to commission and transaction fees.

  • Major international credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, and Amex are widely accepted in Ivory Coast, especially by hotels, restaurants and stores. However, cash and traveler’s checks are relied on much more frequently.

  • Visitors should retain receipts of exchange transactions in case of discrepancies or disputes.

Overall, exchanging money in Ivory Coast is fairly convenient and competitive due to the large number of exchange offices across the country.

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Tips for Handling Money in Ivory Coast

Here are some useful tips for exchanging and using money in Ivory Coast:

  • Most major hotels will provide currency exchange services at their front desks or business centers. They often offer competitive rates and convenient service.

  • There are many independent exchange bureaus located throughout Abidjan and other large cities. Shop around for the best rates and look for those that display their rates clearly.

  • Carry some US dollars or euros in cash as a backup. It’s still easy to change these major currencies into CFA francs despite the fixed exchange rate.

  • Be careful exchanging money on the street. Only use official exchange offices to minimize risks of getting counterfeit notes or being scammed.

  • Traveler’s checks in major currencies like USD and EUR can still be cashed but are less convenient than credit/debit cards. Keep the receipt in case of problems.

  • Major credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard and to a lesser extent Amex and Diner’s Club are accepted by most hotels, restaurants and stores in large cities. However, cash is still king outside of tourist hubs.

  • Get a local SIM card Subscriber Identity Module card for your mobile phone to easily make calls, send texts and access data while abroad.

  • Be sure to retain currency exchange receipts which may be needed to prove the exchange rate if you have any issues at departure. This can also aid in tax reporting at home.

  • Always carry adequate cash reserves in XOF in case you lose access to credit cards while traveling around Ivory Coast.

Overall, handling money as an international visitor in Ivory Coast is relatively straightforward, if not entirely hassle-free. Following these tips will help avoid unnecessary headaches.

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Photo by Lukasz Radziejewski / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

What are some famous landmarks in Ivory Coast?

Landmarks include the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Tai National Park, Comoé National Park, Grand-Bassam historic town, and beaches.

What languages are spoken in Ivory Coast?

French is the official language. Indigenous languages belonging to the Niger–Congo family are also spoken.

What are the major exports of Ivory Coast?

Major exports are cocoa, coffee, palm oil, petroleum, timber, cotton, bananas, pineapples, tuna, and rubber.

What attractions bring tourists to Ivory Coast?

Tourist attractions include beaches, rainforests, cultural sites, and national parks. Eco-tourism and sport fishing draw visitors.

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