The Gabonese Republic (Republique Gabonaise) is a country found on the west coast of Africa. It is located on the equator, with the Republic of Congo to the east, Cameroon to the north, Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. Because it is a former colony of France, its official language is French and its official currency is the Central African franc.
Prior to the adoption of the Central African franc, Gabon had its own franc banknotes. The Gabonaise franc was issued by the Banque Centrale until Gabon adopted the CFA franc in 1974. The Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (Bank of Central African States) issues, circulates, and regulates the CFA franc. Early CFA franc banknotes have the same back design. However, the front design differed from state-to-state. The CFA francs in Gabon included Republique Gabonaise, portraits of Gabonese citizens and Omar Bongo—the second president of Gabon for 42 years— and different architectural and cultural landmarks. After 1992, the Bank of Central African States unified its designs and only indicated the name of the country the banknote circulates in to avoid confusion.