Angola National Currency: An Overview of the Angolan Kwanza

As a country located in Southern Africa, Angola is known for its rich natural resources, including oil, diamonds, and minerals. The Angola National Currency is the Angolan kwanza, which has gone through several transformations over the years. In this article, we will explore the history and features of the Angolan kwanza, its exchange rates, and the impact of its use on the country’s economy.

A Brief History of the Angola National Currency

The Angolan kwanza was first introduced in 1977, replacing the previous Portuguese escudo. At that time, 1 kwanza was equal to 1.00 escudo. The first series of banknotes featured images of notable Angolan leaders and symbols of the country’s struggle for independence. However, due to hyperinflation and economic instability, the kwanza was redenominated in 1990, with 1 new kwanza equal to 1,000 old kwanzas.

In 1995, a new series of banknotes was introduced, featuring images of local wildlife and cultural icons. This series was followed by several others, each with its unique designs and features.

Characteristics of the Angolan Kwanza

The Angolan kwanza is divided into 100 subdivisions called “lwei.” The currency is issued by the National Bank of Angola, which sets the exchange rate against other currencies. The kwanza is available in both coins and banknotes, with the latter being the more common form of currency in circulation.

One unique feature of the kwanza is that it is a non-convertible currency. This means that it cannot be freely traded on international currency markets and can only be used within Angola. However, this has not prevented the kwanza from experiencing fluctuations in value due to factors such as inflation and changes in oil prices.

Exchange Rates and Economic Impact of Angola National Currency

As of May 2023, 1 US dollar is equivalent to approximately 610.00 Angolan kwanza. The exchange rate of the kwanza has been relatively stable in recent years, thanks in part to measures taken by the National Bank of Angola to control inflation and stabilize the economy.

However, the use of the kwanza as the sole legal tender in Angola has had a significant impact on the country’s economy. In particular, the country’s dependence on oil exports has made it vulnerable to fluctuations in global oil prices, which can affect the value of the kwanza and lead to inflation. Additionally, the limited availability of foreign currencies has made it challenging for businesses to conduct international transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can I use US dollars or other currencies in Angola?

While some businesses may accept foreign currencies, the Angolan kwanza is the only legal tender in the country.

  • Can I exchange Angolan kwanza outside of Angola?

No, the kwanza is a non-convertible currency and cannot be traded on international currency markets.

  • How has the value of the kwanza changed over time?

The kwanza has experienced significant fluctuations in value due to factors such as inflation and changes in oil prices.

  • Is it easy to obtain Angolan kwanza in Angola?

Yes, the kwanza is readily available in banks and currency exchange offices throughout the country.

  • What are some security features of Angolan kwanza banknotes?

Angolan kwanza banknotes feature several security features, including watermarks, holograms, and unique serial numbers.


In conclusion, the Angolan kwanza is an important aspect of the country’s economy and history. While it has faced challenges over the years, measures taken by the National Bank of Angola have helped stabilize its value and promote economic growth. As the sole legal tender in the country, the kwanza is essential for conducting business and everyday transactions in Angola. Understanding its history and characteristics can provide insight into the country’s economic landscape and the challenges it faces.


  • “Angolan Kwanza.” XE Currency Converter.
  • “Angolan Kwanza.” World Currency & Exchange Rate Information.
  • “Angola – Economy.” Encyclopedia Britannica.

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