Central Africa includes the following countries: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe
Our banknote featured wood carvings and a wood carver.
The Republic of Central Africa.
The territory is beautiful. Modern exploratory research indicates it is rich in natural resources below the ground in addition to its large swaths or arable land.
Its history is ancient with evidence of inhabitants dating back 10 millenia at least.
The landlocked country was ultimately penetrated by the Atlantic slave trade as was so much of West Central Africa.
France colonized the region about 150 years ago and the boundaries by which it is now known then began to take shape.
Independence was gained from France in 1960 and its present boundaries set.
The Central African Republic is among the very poorest of our world. The following measures were taken in the last half of the 2nd decade of the 21st century by various international agencies. The Central African Republic rates:
a) the lowest GDP per capita at purchasing power parity in the world as of 2017.
b) the country had the lowest level of human development, ranking 188th out of 188 countries.
c) It is also estimated to be the unhealthiest country
d) It is the worst country in which to be young.
The majestic profile announces the featured subject of our banknote, The Lion Family.
Kundelungu is a National park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo established in 1970.
Kundelungu National Park is mentioned on the face of our banknote, captioned beneath the lioness and her cubs. Kundelungu National Park was constituted in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the southeastern sector, near to southern border with Zambia.
The Congo Lion has been proposed as a lion subspecies, but is not so accepted at this time. Lions range in DR Congo, Uganda and Burundi, and the region is considered a potential stronghold for lions if the poaching can be stopped. Presently, lion populations are considered stable in only a few remaining reagions in Botswana and Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Lions are suffering from poaching and diminishing habitat.
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”): Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Congo-Brazzaville Equatorial Guinea Gabon 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
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
Antelopes grazing near the baobab tree is the illustration on the back of our beautiful banknote from Gabon. The massive and amazing baobab is often called the tee of life. It is thought by many to be the inspiration for the “Ents” in the stories of J. R. R. Tolkein. The image on the left is a Kota mask. The Kota, (meaning “united” or “bound together”), being several groups sharing a similar culture, fashion these masks and other figurines from wood and then frequently cover them with brass to increase their power.
On the front of our banknote, the shepherd watches over his zebus. Zebus are a humped cattle that thrive throughout the topics.
The banknote is common to the 6 nations of the CFA, Central African Financial cooperative. The capital letter “L” in the bottom left corner is the sole distinguishing mark that links this to Gabon. The other 5 countries have their own distinguishing letters. The first two digits of the serial number, 00 (16579666) indicate the year of the issuance of this banknote. The year of this banknote is the year 2000.
Our beautiful banknote can only be identified as belonging to the African country of Gabon, by the letter “L”, above the numeral 2000 in the bottom left corner. If that letter had been “C” or “E” or “F” or “N” or “P”, it would be identified with one of the other 5 countries using the same currency. Together, those 5 plus our Gabon comprise the CFA or Central African Financial cooperative.
The nations and their currency code, for the 2000 franc banknote, are as follows: C (Republic of the Congo; 1993-2002 issue); E (Cameroon; 1993-2002 issue); F (Central African Republic; 1994-2002 issue); L (Gabon; 1993-2002 issue); N (Equatorial Guinea; 1993-2000 issue); P (Chad; 1993-2000 issue)
The Map on the left is on the front of the banknote. Notice that it is segmented into 6 parts, each with a dot. This is a map of the 6 Central Africa Nations that compose the CFA, or known in English as the Financial Cooperation in Central Africa. The countries mapped are, starting from the top and proceeding in a clockwise rotation, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The image on the right, selected from this website, highlights the 6 member countries in dark red, and their positions in the continent.
Debate continues over the present use of the French backed common currency in the 21st century as outlined in this January 2018 article in the Economist.