Africa, Central Africa, Earth

Central African CFA franc

Currency of Gabon, back

The entire italicized text below is taken from Wikipedia (see reference below) and included in this website for reference.

The Central Africa CFA franc (XAF) is known in French as the Franc CFA, where CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale (“Financial Cooperation in Central Africa”). It is issued by the BEAC (Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale, i.e., “Bank of the Central African States”), located in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for the six countries of the CEMAC (Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale, i.e., “Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa”):
Central African Republic
Equatorial Guinea
These six countries have a combined population of 45.0 million people (as of 2013), and a combined GDP of US$88.2 billion (as of 2012). In 1975, Central African CFA banknotes were issued with an obverse unique to each participating country, and common reverse, in a fashion similar to euro coins.
Equatorial Guinea, the only former Spanish colony in the zone, adopted the CFA in 1984.1


The banknotes are published with the same images for all participating countries.  The country of origination, however, is identifiable by a country code on each banknote.  Tracking these codes is more difficult than for the Western Africa CFA francs, because the country codes may change.  The list below has been compiled from data in the Wikipedia article on the Central African CFA franc. 2

Banknote of Gabon, front. Note the letter “L” in the bottom left corner. This is the country code identifying Gabon as the country of origin for this Central African CFA franc banknote.

The first two digits of the serial number identify the year of issuance.  So, for example, the serial number on our banknote from Gabon, above, is 0015384617.  The first two digits are 00.  This indicates that the year of issuance is the year 2000.  Had the year of issuance been 1997, the first two digits would be 97.

For the banknotes issued from 1993 until 2001, the country codes for the 6 participating nations were as follows:
C – Congo
E – Cameroon
F – Central African Republic
L – Gabon
N – Equitorial Guinea
P – Chad

For the banknotes issued in 2002, the country codes for the 6 participating nations were as follows:
T – Congo
U – Cameroon
M – Central African Republic
A – Gabon
F – Equitorial Guinea
C – Chad


  1. CFA franc Wikipedia article CFA franc
  2. Central African CFA franc Wikipedia

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