The landlocked country of the Republic of Rwanda is located south of the Equator in the Great Rift Valley, in East-central Africa bordered by Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is one of the smallest nations in mainland Africa but has the densest population.
Following the genocide that occurred in 1994, Rwanda’s economy dropped as a result of the massive loss of life, looting, and inability to maintain facilities and infrastructure.
The country has been using the Rwandan franc since 1964 when the economic union between Burundi and Rwanda was dissolved. Provisional banknotes were created for Rwanda with hand-stamped or embossed Rwanda-Burundi banknotes. Regular notes dated 1964 to 1965 were eventually issued. In 1974, the National Bank of Rwanda released a 500-franc banknote bearing a portrait of Juvenal Habyarimana who became the third president of the country after Gregoire Kayibanda was ousted on July 5, 1973. Habyarimana’s assassination had triggered the Rwandan Genocide. On September 24, 2013, the bank released a redesigned 500-franc paper bill showing cows and students with XO computers. The cow design illustrates the government’s endeavor to eliminate malnutrition while the students with laptop design reflects technology and education. The family of notes has the bank name in Kinyarwanda on the front and English on the back. They also have enhanced security features such as a windowed security thread with demetalized BNR. Finally, the 2019 issues have new security elements by Giesecke & Devrient. These notes also have improved quality, making them more durable.