Currency in Benin
“The currency in Benin is called the CFA or the West African franc. They have bills in 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000. It’s very difficult to get change for large bills. So if you go to a bank and get money out, they’ll generally only give you 10,000 bills, and to get change for those bills is very difficult. So my advice would be, if you can, get small bills or change, like actual coins, and try to hold on to those bills and small change as long as you can and only use them if someone really doesn’t have change.
“Across West Africa they have little kiosks or little shops just about everywhere and they call them boutiques. And in boutiques you can find a wide variety of things, but generally they’ll have soap and things that you would need around the house, plus common food items like tomato paste, pasta, sugar, things like that that you would need. They may also, if you’re in an area with electricity or a nicer area, they’ll probably have a refrigerator with beers and sodas and things like that. But really outside of the big cities they don’t have real supermarkets or things like that and most of the time people just do their shopping in their little neighborhood boutique.”
In this video, a Beninese expert discusses the currency in Benin.