The Central African region of Africa, is roughly located between Lake Chad in the north, Sudan in the northeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south. The region consists of six countries—the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon. Read along to learn about the new family of Central African Franc banknotes released this year.

African Elephants In The Wilderness | Source: AS

Origins Of The Unity Between Nations

The Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC) was founded in 1964. The countries of Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Gabon and the Central African Republic later agreed to establish the CEMAC. The union was formed to promote economic integration and trade among its members. The last headquarters of UDEAC were located Libreville Gabon. In addition to promoting trade between its member countries, the UDEAC provided a common currency called the CFA franc.

West & Central African Franc Users | Source: Cointelegraph

The CFA franc is issued by the Central Bank of each country and managed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC). There are currently two types of currencies: the West African Franc (XOF), used in West African states, and the Central African Franc (XAF), used in Central African states. The CFA franc is pegged to the euro at 655.957.

Bank of Central African States | Source: Wikipedia

Problems Facing Former Colonies

The Central African Franc was created in former French colonies to facilitate payments between France and the French colonial empire. The colonial administration of each colony had been given great autonomy when it came to currency issuing: each country had its own banknotes, which were accepted as legal tender throughout that country. However, there was no common currency for all colonies within the French empire: there was no point of reference for people traveling between countries nor a way for central authorities in Paris to keep track of their finances.

Central African States – Congo 10,000 Francs, 2002 (old design) | Source: Banknote World

The CFA franc was meant to solve this problem by creating a single currency used by all countries that were part of what is now called the Franc Zone (France’s African dependencies). It also allowed France direct control over central banks in those countries and made it easier for them to pay their debts back home or receive loans from abroad without having every transaction go through several intermediate banks first.

New Central African Francs 500 – 10,000 for 2022| Source: Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale

The New New Central African Franc Banknotes 2022

The CFA banknotes have for the most part maintained their former French roots. They are written in French and have European style scenery on them almost like a painting you would see on a museum. However This year (Dec 15, 2022) the Bank of Central African States announced a new banknote family. They come in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 Francs. They feature a brand new colorful, modern design that in my opinion is very similar to the latest Madagascar banknote family. They come in colors such as grey, blue, red, green and purple. All of the banknotes feature the same obverse design which consists of the Bank of Central African States headquarters building which is located in Cameroon. In addition to the CEMAC seal on the upper right hand corner. Lastly you can also see a map outline of the Central African States members on the left hand side. Reverse images consist of a farming/agricultural scene on the 500. A doctor, patient and scientist on the back of the 1,000. A bird and wildlife on the reverse side of the 2,000 Francs. Elephants and onyx in the bush on the back of the 5,000. Lastly children in a classroom on the reverse side of the 10,000 Francs.

Madagascar 20,000 Ariary | 2017 ND | Do you see similarities in the design? | Source: Banknote World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *