The Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Republica de Guine-Bissau) is a Western African country that borders Senegal to the north and Guinea to the southeast. It includes the Bijagos archipelago and other islands that are near the coast of Guinea-Bissau. The country was once part of the Kaabu kingdom and the Mali Empire, two historically powerful western African kingdoms. However, the country was fully colonized by Portugal and became known as Portuguese Guinea until its independence in 1973. The capital’s name, Bissau, was added to the name of the country to distinguish it from Guinea.
Prior to entering the West African CFA franc monetary system in 1997, Guinea-Bissau used the Guinean peso. One Guinean peso is equivalent to 100 centavos. The first bank to have issuing authority over the Guinean peso post-independence is the Banco Nacional da Guine-Bissau (National Bank of Guinea-Bissau). The first family of banknotes issued by the National Bank in 1975 are said to have been printed in Algeria, though it remains unconfirmed. The second family of banknotes are redesigned to have better security, add more denominations, integrate more colors, and highlight the works and contributions of the people featured in the banknotes. When the Banco Central da Guine-Bissau (Central Bank of Guinea-Bissau) took over issuing authority in 1990, they continued issuing the second family of Guinea peso banknotes, but reduced the size, updated the issuing authority, and changed the colors of some denominations. The Guinean peso was demonetized after the adoption of the CFA franc in 1997. Currently, Guinea-Bissau continues to use the CFA franc as its monetary unit.