Effective monetary and financial institutions are a key to economic development. This chapter reviews the history of African monetary systems during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, tracking the shift from commodity currencies to mobile money. Through this history, it examines issues which remain relevant for African central banks today.
Gardner, Leigh (2016). “From Cowries to Mobile Phones: African Monetary Systems since 1800”, In Ewout Frankema, Ellen Hillbom, Ushehwedu Kufakurinani and Felix Meier zu Selhausen (eds.), The History of African Development: An Online Textbook for a New Generation of African Students and Teachers. African Economic History Network.