Africa, Earth, French West Africa, Senegal, Western Africa

Senegal – 1949

French West Africa

The CFA franc was introduced in 1945.  The letter “K appearing twice on the front of our banknote is the distinguishing mark that identifies Senegal as the country of origin.  The other countries sharing the CFA franc, with their identifying marks are: Côte d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast “A”; Benin “B”; Burkina Faso “C”; Mali “D”; Niger “H”; Togo “T” and Guinea-Bissau “S”. Senegal, as stated, has “K” as the identifying mark.1

 

French West Africa

The back of our banknote features canoes, men, and, the river.  It is thought by many that the origin of the word “Senegal” is an early word in a local dialect meaning “our canoe”.  This meaning, although disputed by some technicians, has nevertheless become popular today, being used commonly in phrases with meanings to the effect: “we are all in the same canoe.2

French West Africa was a federation of 8 states existing from 1895 until 1960.3

Cap-Vert, Senegal, enlarged image
Cap-Vert, Senegal

Senegal’s Capt-Vert projects its triangular point 4 directly into the Atlantic Ocean, the westernmost point of the grand collective landmass termed Afro-Eurasia.5  Also known as Cape Verde, it is roughly equidistant between the mouths of two great rivers, the Senegal and the Gambia, about 100 kilometers from each.  These became the early colonial outposts of the Europeans.

Senegal and Gambia Rivers on either side of Cape Verde

Middle 1400s Portuguese explorers, decades before the voyage of Columbus, reached the Senegal first (being the northernmost river of the two and closer to Portugal), rounded Cape Verde and explored the Gambia second (map image6 right).  Two hundred years later, the French and the British, emerging from their own borders with global ambition, established trading posts, and then settlements, and, eventually, forts in the region, the French at the Senegal River and Cape Verde area, and the British at the Gambia river.  In the wars of the 1th and 18th centuries between the French and the British, these West African settlements changed hands again and again.  But in the late 19th century “scramble for Africa”, the French were in better position.

map showing Senegal shown surrounding The Gambia

The British found themselves occupying a relatively thin strip from the ocean, inland along the banks of the Gambia River.  France occupied the regions along the Senegal River, the region of Cape Verde, and the land completely surrounding the British on both banks of the Gambia and inland.  These boundaries remain unto this day; and that’s why the map looks the way it does.7

 

Senegal celebrates its Independence Day on April 4th.  On April 4, 1959, Senegal joined with French Sudan to form the Mali Federation, which became independent from France the following year, April 4, 1960 with the signing of a Transfer of Power Agreement.  Due to internal political differences, that federation swiftly dissolved and the two nations declared separate independences in August of the same year.  Senegal retained its name Senegal, and the former French Sudan adopted the name Mali.  Mali celebrates its Independence Day September 22, that date in 1960 being the day it emerged independent from the Mali Federation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa, Biafra, Earth, Nigeria, Western Africa

Biafra 5 shillings note

Biafra 5 front

The Palm Tree stands in front of the Rising Sun.  The national anthem of Biafra is “The Land of the Rising Sun”1, written by Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria, and considered the father of Nigerian nationalism.

Biafra 5 back
Biafra Map, from wikipedia

The Republic of Biafra is the name of a 1960s secessionist state in Western Africa.  The Ibo people, sometimes called Igbo, predominantly occupied the coastal region of southeastern Nigeria including the delta of the mighty Niger River.2  Economic, cultural and religious tensions issued in a secessionist movement which led to the Nigerian Civil War lasting from July 1967 until January 1970.  The independence of Biafra was recognized by a number of surrounding nations and was supported by with arms from France.  Most of the rest of the world supported Nigeria’s claim to control over the region.  Nigeria was further supported with supplies of military arms from Britain and the United States.3

 

 

The international movement known as Medicins Sans Frontieres, or, Doctors Without Borders, was born in response to the crisis in Biafra.4

A fuller history can be read here.

Africa, Biafra, Earth, Nigeria, Western Africa

Biafra 1 pound note

 

Biafra 1 front

The image of the rising sun beyond the palm tree features prominently on the front of our banknote.  Biafra adopted the song The Land of the Rising Sun1 as its anthem.  The words were written by Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria, and, regarded as the father of Nigerian nationalism.

Biafra 1 back

The coat of arms of Biafra is featured on the back of our banknote.  As is appropriate, the symbols are full of meaning.2

Biafra 1 back

The eagle: Sovereignty, Pride and Self-Esteem

The horn of the cow: Cultural heritage

The shield: the map of Biafra

The rising sun: Expectation

Eleven Rays of sunshine: the original 11 provinces of Biafra

Three rings: Three patriarchs of Biafrans

Two Leopards holding the shield: Defenders

The field of green: Natural resources

 

Africa, Earth, Mozambique, Southern Africa

Mozambique

 

Mozambique 1988

The image on the left 1 is a wood carving by Mozambique’s son, Alberto Chissano.  The image on the right is a painting by Malangatana Valente.

Mozambique 1988
Mozambique 1988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mozambique 1988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mozambique 1988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The emblem of Mozambique is on the front of our banknote.  It’s symbols are explicitly defined in the constitution.

From the constitution:
Article 194 The emblem of the Republic of Mozambique shall contain as its central elements a book, a gun and a hoe, superimposed on a map of Mozambique, representing, respectively, education, defense and vigilance, and the peasantry and agricultural production. Below the map the ocean shall be represented. In the center shall be the rising sun, symbol of the building of a new life. Enclosing all this shall be a toothed wheel, symbolizing labor and industry. Surrounding the toothed wheel there shall be, to the right and left respectively, an ear of maize and a piece of sugar cane, symbolizing agricultural wealth. At the bottom there shall be a red strip with the inscription “Republic of Mozambique.”2

Africa, African Great Lakes Region, Earth, Eastern Africa, Uganda

Uganda

 

Uganda 5

The Ugandan Coat of Arms features prominently on the front of our 5 shilling banknote.

Coat of Arms over map of the nation

The shield and two spears are said to represent the defense of the nation.  The three images on the shield, from top to bottom represent the waves of the Lakes of Vitoria and Albert, the endless sunshine of the land and the historic drum calling to meetings of ceremony and significance.  The shield is above a green mound representing the fertility of the land, intersected by an image of the ever flowing Nile river.  The shield is flanked by two birds.  On the left is the crested crane, also the national bird of Uganda.  On the right is the Ugandan kob, emblematic of the abundant wildlife of the land of Uganda.  The banner reads “For God and for my Country”, the national motto.

Uganda 5 shillings

The reverse of our 5 shillings banknote features a woman harvesting a rich crop of coffee beans,