Madagascar’s currency is the « ariary ». Before the french colonial period, in XIX century, during the time of Madagascar’s kingdom, the ariary was the currency. The word « ariary » comes from the arab languages « al rial » which means the monetary system in the arabic peninsula. The commercial exchange was always very important during many centuries between Madagascar and the arabic world.
Ariary is part of unlisted currencies in the international market, it is only valid in the malagasy territory. You can’t neither use it outside or procure it outside Madagascar.
When ariary became the national currency in 2003, the exchange rate was 1 EUR for 1400 MGA.
But since, it was never stopped depreciating. Effectively, nowadays, this rate has more than tripled than 2003. 1 euros is 3800 MGA
It’s existing banknote of :
- 20 000 Ar (roa alina)
- 10 000 Ar (iray alina)
- 5 000 Ar (dimy arivo)
- 2 000 Ar (roa arivo)
- 1 000 Ar (arivo)
- 500 Ar (diman-zato)
- 200 Ar (roan-zato)
- 100 Ar (ariary zato)
Some banknotes, like 1000, 500, 200 and 100 Ar still have the sign of their Malagasy franc value, written in little character.
History : French-franc, Malagasy franc
During the colonial period, the french franc is the currency used in Madagascar. From 1960, the Madagascar independence, the french franc leave the place for Malagasy franc (FMG)
In June 2003, the president Marc Ravalomanana created a new currency by taking back the old one : ariary. The ariary replace the Malagasy franc issued by the central bank of Madagascar.
It’s important to know that the Malagasy franc (FMG) stay for the people majority (little trade, market …) the currency of reference.The rate of unvarying conversion is 1 ariary for 5 FMG
. We must remember it to avoid all misunderstanding and confusion.