Somalia lies on the Horn of Africa at the eastern end of the continent, stretching from the south of Equator to the Gulf of Aden. It shares borders with Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Gulf of Aden, Kenya, and the Indian Ocean, the country has a geopolitically position between the Arabian countries, the sub-Saharan region, and southwestern Asia.

Map of Somalia – Off the coast of Africa
Source: Britannica

First Banknotes of Somalia

Somalia’s official currency is the Somali Shilling (SOS). The Central Bank of Somalia issues and regulates it. The shilling was initially introduced to the country in 1921 through the East African Shilling. Following the unification of the British Protectorate of Somaliland that used the East African shilling and the United Nations Trust Territory of Somalia that used the somalo for their official medium of exchange, the Somali shilling was established on March 6, 1961, as legal tender for unified Somalia. The notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 100 shillings and bear Italian and Somali text on the obverse while the reverse is in English and Somali.

Somalia 20 Scellini | 1962 | P-3a |
Source: Banknote World Educational

The Somali National Bank put another series of banknotes into circulation in 1975. It consists of 5, 10, 20, and also 100 shillings, with the country’s emblem as a common design found at the left of the obverse. The two smaller denominations are 152 x 72 mm in size while the two notes of larger value measure 165 x 80 mm.

Somalia 100 Shillings | 1975 | P-20 |
Source: Banknote World Educational

The Central Bank of Somalia launched a new set of notes which looks similar to the preceding issues. They included a new name of the issuer, with the exception of the 5-shilling banknote. It has zebras and six cape buffalos replace the previous wildebeests designs. Like the previous notes, De La Rue is also the printer.

Somalia 1,000 Shillings | 1990 |
Source: Banknote World

After the civil war in 1990, Somalia’s economy collapsed, prompting the issuance of higher denomination banknotes. Thus, the 500 and 1,000 shilling paper bills begin to circulate. These notes also depict an economic activity on the obverse and buildings on the reverse.

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