The Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared independent country in the Horn of Africa. It is surrounded by Djibouti to the northwest, Ethiopia to the southwest, and Somalia to the east. The Somali National Movement declared the former British Somaliland region as an independent state in 1991. A constitutional referendum was held on May 2001 to ratify Somaliland’s independence from Somalia. However, the government of Somalia still attempts to reunify with Somaliland. Though Somaliland still has no international recognition, the region experiences relative economic and political stability.
Somaliland uses the Somaliland shilling as its official currency. One Somaliland shilling is equivalent to 100 Somali shillings. The Baanka Somaliland (Bank of Somaliland) is the central bank of the Republic of Somaliland. The bank was established in 1994 under article 13 of the Somaliland Constitution. The first series of banknotes issued by Baanka Somaliland were introduced in 1994. These notes replaced the Somali shilling, which ceased being legal tender in January 1995. Each note has a six-digit serial number and a two-letter prefix. The notes had the same design: a view of the Supreme Court building and an image of a male greater kudu on the obverse side and a depiction of two nomads traversing a desert with the twin hills of Naasa Hablood on the reverse side. In 1996, a larger sized 50 shilling note was issued. In the same year, commemorative notes were circulated. These notes commemorated the 5th anniversary of Somaliland Independence. There were two series: one had a gold ink overprint of the 5th Anniversary of Independence in both English and Somali, and the other had the same overprint but in silver ink. In 2002, the 500 shilling note was modified to have a different color scheme and add a windowed security thread. In 2011, the 1,000 and 5,000 shilling notes were introduced.