At the southeastern region of Africa, touching the Mozambique Channel and the Indian Ocean, lies Mozambique. Mozambique has many natural resources, stemming from its natural harbors and its fertile land. It is bordered by Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Eswatini and South Africa to the southwest, and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mozambique has an important role in the maritime economy of the Indian Ocean, serving as a meeting point between Southern Asia and also Southeastern Africa. Swahili culture and language also flourished in the port towns of Mozambique. The Portuguese colonized Mozambique after the arrival of Vasco da Gama in 1498, completely settling in the country in 1505. Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975.
The Metical of Mozambique
The metical is the official currency of Mozambique. It dates back to June 16, 1980, replacing the escudo at par. The metical is divided into 100 centavos. The Banco de Mocambique is the central bank and also the sole issuing authority for Mozambique.
The first series of metical banknotes were issued under Law 2/80. These banknotes featured the coat of arms of Mozambique, scenes from the war for independence, the bank logo of BDM, and also economic activities. The security features of the notes were the same—a solid security thread and a watermark of Samora Moises Machel, the first president of Mozambique.
The blue 500 metical banknote is part of the first metical series. Its obverse side portrays the coat of arms of Mozambique, Samora Moises Machel addressing the People’s Assembly and a crowd of voters showing off their voter’s ID. Its reverse side also shows the Banco de Mocambique logo and scenes from a research lab and a makeshift classroom. The note has a solid security thread and a watermark of President Machel. It measures 140 mm by 68 mm.
The second series of metical notes are like the first series, but the notes bear the new coat of arms of Mozambique. For example the new coat of arms of Mozambique feature a Soviet star above wheat and corn wreaths. The wreaths flank an AK-47 rifle crossed with a hoe. The rifle and the hoe are in the front of a sun and an open book, with the sea and the republic banner below.
Reforms in Mozambique
The assassination of Samora Machel in 1986 started a series of reforms implemented by Machel’s successor, Joaquim Chissano. For example some of these reforms include the shift from Marxism to Capitalism, a new constitution in 1990, a multi-party political system, a market-based economy, and free elections. The civil war between the FRELIMO (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) and the RENAMO (Mozambican National Resistance) ended in October 1992. As a result of the inflation brought about by the civil war and its aftereffects required larger denominations, and the 10,000 meticais, 20,000 meticais, 50,000 meticais, and 100,000 meticais were introduced. The 200,000 meticais and the 500,000 meticais were introduced a decade later, in 2003.
Per Law 7/2005, metical was revalued at a rate of 1 new metical to 1,000 old meticais. New notes were issued six months later on July 2006, and the existing currency circulated in parallel until the end of 2006. The new metical notes all feature the portrait of Samora Moises Machel and also the Banco de Mozambique logo in front. In addition the back designs of the note contain vignettes of the unissued 1975 metica notes. The first series of new metical notes date back to 2006. Five years later, the Banco de Mocambique released a new family of notes with enhanced security features, like windowed security threads with demetalized text and polymer notes.
The red 100 metical note is one of the few polymer notes from the Bank of Mozambique. Its obverse side shows the bank logo and also a portrait of Samora Moises Machel. In addition its reverse side depicts a family of three giraffes running in the savannah. Because the note is contains a polymer substrate, it does not have a security thread. It also has a shadow image of Samora Machel as its watermark. The note measures 147 mm long and 65 mm wide.