Africa, Central Africa, Chad, Earth

Chad – 1000 francs – year 2000

Chad 1000 francs year 2000

The front of our banknote features the agriculture of coffee in central Africa.  The coffee flower in the lower left and the coffee fruit in the upper right, then the coffee picking in the upper center and the coffee winnowing in the lower center, all elements of the agriculture so important to Central Africa.  Our banknote is from Chad.  This is indicated by the letter “P” in the top right corner and lower left corner of the front of our banknote.

6 countries participated in the common currency known as the Central African CFA franc at this time.  The images are the same, but each banknote is marked with a country code. 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

The first two digits of the serial number identify the year of issuance. So, for example, the serial number on our banknote from Chad, above, is 0058189410. 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.

Chad 1000 francs year 2000

The logging industry is featured on the reverse of this banknote from Chad.  Appropriate trees are selected and felled in the forest.  Then they are topped and delimbed and cut into transportable logs.  The image on our banknote shows five men, equipped with tools of the trade, guiding their prepared logs on the waterways of Central Africa to the preplanned spot where a transport truck is waiting.

The beautiful hardwoods from the equatorial rainforests of Central Africa are prized around the world.

Chad 1000 francs year 2000

The six participant countries are indicated in this map on our banknote.

Chad is at the top of this map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chad 1000 francs year 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chad 1000 francs year 2000

 

Africa, Earth, Gambia, Western Africa

The Gambia – 5 Dalasis

Gambia

A young Gambian lady graces the front of this banknote of Gambia.  Adjacent to her is an image of the giant kingfisher bird of Gambia.  The giant kingfisher, pictured at rest, and also in flight in a smaller image to the left, can be 18 inches long and resides throughout sub-Sahara Africa.

Gambia

A scene with cattle and herders, in a meadow with palm trees in the background, is on the back of our banknote.

The Gambia River with outline of The Gambia

Properly called The Gambia, (like The Bahamas), Gambia is completely surrounded by Senegal, except for a brief Atlantic Ocean coast.  The land of The Gambia is completely dominated by the mighty Gambia River flowing due West into the Atlantic ocean from the mountains in the East.  The river is navigable for almost 1000 kilometers inland from the ocean and thus invited early explorers.  The Portuguese, the earliest known European explorers, traveling South from Portugal, first encountered and explored the somewhat parallel running Senegal River in the North.  A decade later, they rounded Cape Verde, the westernmost point of the African continent and encountered and began the exploration of the river Gambia.  A century or so later, the French and the British exploratory endeavors began to overshadow those of the Portuguese and Spanish, and the French settled the regions around the Senegal River and the British settled the Gambia River territory.

The island in at the mouth of the river, now known as Kunta Kinteh Island, has been designated as a world UNESCO heritage site.  The first European settlers arrived in the late 1500s from Holland, but in 1664 the island was ceded to the British.  Thereafter, if not before, it became integral to the African Slave Trade.  The island itself became well known through the influential Alex Haley broadcast Roots.  Kunte Kinteh is the name of a character described in Roots.

The date of our banknote not known exactly, but the features on the front and back were known to occur on 1996 and 2006 issues of the 5 dalasis banknote, and therefore likely all of the intervening years too..  The 2015 issue of the 5 dalasis banknote is pretty much the same on the front and back except that the image of the happy young lady is replaced with the image of the then president, Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh seized power in 1994 in a coup d’e’tat and ruled for 22 years until he fled the land in 2017 following an electoral defeat.  So the 2015 banknote image shows him near the conclusion of his reign.  Today his administration stands accused of perpetrating violence against the people including executions tortures and rapes.  A truth and reconciliation commission was established October 15, 2018 to further the healing of the nation.

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

Tanzania – 500 Shilingi

Tanzania

A Bountiful Harvest of Coffee is celebrated artistically on our banknote.  On the left is a broad view of a well organized farm.  On the right is detail of the coffee plant and fruit.  At center is a large coffee plant and at left the coffee fruit is being separated.

Tanzania

The zebra and giraffe adorn our banknote, and, at center is the coat of arms of Tanzania.

Tanzania coat of arms

The central shield bears four images from top to bottom: the enflamed torch, the flag of Tanzania, a crossed axe and hoe, a spear over a pattern of waves.

The shield rests upon the image of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The shield is surrounded on the left and right with the tusks of the elephant.

The shield is upheld by a man standing upon a plant of cloves, and a woman standing upon a plant of cotton.

Beneath them is the unfurled banner with the motto of the nation, Freedom and Unity in Swahili.

The giraffe looks out at us from our banknote of Tanzania.  We cannot see the totality of our graceful creature, but if we were to zoom out, we would find that we would have to zoom out more than for perhaps any other land-based living mammal.  Our giraffe is, likely, a Masai giraffe, the largest subspecies of the entire giraffe family, residing in southern Kenya and, our, Tanzania.  The Masai giraffe is also known as the Kilimanjaro giraffe.  As Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, so the Masai giraffe is the tallest mammal on the earth.  Our giraffe can be 19 feet tall, and, with its 6 foot long legs, can run at about 35 miles per hour..

The coat patterns vary among the various giraffe subspecies, the masai giraffe’s spots being somewhat more jagged than jagged.  It is believed that no two individual’s spot patterns are identical and thus individuals may be identified.

The Masai giraffe is generally found in Tanzania and Kenya and Somalia and Ethiopia.

Africa, Benin, Earth, Western Africa

Benin – 500 Francs – Year 1994

Benin CFA franc
Benin CFA franc

This CFA franc originates in Benin.  The country code on the front of the banknote, top right corner and lower left, indicates this.  The country codes are as follows: A – Ivory Coast; B – Benin; C – Burkina Faso; D – Mali; H – Niger; K –  Senegal; T – Togo; S Guinea-Bissau.1

The first two digits of the serial number indicate the year the banknote was issued.  This banknote was issued in 1994.

The CFA franc began on December 26, 1945.2

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

Uganda – 5 Shillings

 

Uganda 5 shillings banknote

The Ugandan Coat of Arms features prominently on the front of our 5 shilling banknote.  The coat of arms is backed by a map silhouette of Uganda.

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, the largest in Africa, 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 (our right) is the crested crane, also the national bird of Uganda.  On the right (our left) 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 banknote

The reverse of our 5 shillings banknote features a woman harvesting a rich crop of coffee beans.  It has appeared on several Ugandan banknotes.

 

Africa, Earth, Eastern Africa, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa

Ethiopia – 10 Birr – Year 2006

Ethiopia 2006

TEN BIRR is noted prominently left center of the front of our banknote.  The Birr is the name of the unit of currency in Ethiopia and has been since the middle 1800s.  “Birr” means “silver” in the local languages.

A weaver adorns the front.  A lion appears behind the inscription for TEN BIRR.

Ethiopia 2006

Fields are plowed in the foreground with rolling hills in the background.

 

Africa, Earth, Malawi, Southern Africa

Malawi – Food Security

Malawi, 2005 banknote, 5 kwatcha, featuring artist’s theme “Food Security”

“Food Security”.  The beautiful artwork suggest, perhaps, a Mother, two older daughters and a young child.  The Mother is smiling.  She is pouring into a basket almost ready to overflow. This makes her happy.  Her family will be fed into the future.  The older daughters are working the heavy poles, processing the produce picked from the fields behind them.  They have learned their Mother’s ways and priorities.  One must provide for food for the family.  The young one is learning from her older sisters.  The artwork is beautiful.  The illustration is moving.

As I write this, I am mesmerized.  I am sitting in a pub, on my second beer, feeling a little uncomfortable because I ate too much food for lunch.  As I did yesterday.  And the day before.  And the day before that.  As I am getting older, I do find myself worried about “security” in my future.  Some kinds of security.  But I have never, not for one moment, ever, in my now somewhat long life, been worried over food security.  Have you?  I’d love to hear your stories.

A site I just discovered is here, the Famine Early Warning System Network, referenced from this Malawi report, here.  From this, I learn that there are very many people working together toward Food Security.  I want to help.  Do you?

Malawi, 5 kwatcha banknote, featuring John Chilembwe, Preacher and Political Activist, early advocate of Independence for Malawi
Africa, Earth, Malawi, Southern Africa

Malawi – Tobacco

Malawi, 1 hwatcha banknote, featuring tobacco workers

From wikipedia here:   Tobacco production in Malawi is one of the nation’s largest sources of income. As of 2005, Malawi was the 12th largest producer of tobacco leaves and the 7th largest global supporter of tobacco leaves. As of 2010, Malawi was the world’s leading producer of burley leaf tobacco. With the decline of tobacco farms in the West, interest in Malawi’s low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco has increased. Today, Malawian tobacco is found in blends of nearly every cigarette smoked in industrialized nations including the popular and ubiquitous Camel and Marlboro brands. It is the world’s most tobacco dependent economy.

Burley leaf from Malawi makes up 6.6 percent of the worlds tobacco exports and accounts for over 70 percent of Malawi’s foreign earnings. Tobacco sales generate 165 million dollars per year for Malawi, with tobacco making up 53 percent of Malawi’s exports.

Approximately 75 percent of the population depends on tobacco farming although only a small proportion of Malawians are smokers. 5 million workers are indirectly employed in related industries or are family members of tobacco workers.

Malawi, 1 kwatcha banknote, 1992, President-for-Life Hastings Banda

During the era of Hastings Banda, 1966-1994, the local tobacco industry grew and changed and flourished.  Production rose 100% by the 1970s from the pre-independence days.  Furthermore in the 1970s, tobacco production began its huge shit from the “developed” nations to the “developing” nations, a movement upon which Malawi capitalized.  Formerly one of the very poorest of African nations, its economy has been bolstered substantially by tobacco.

Malawi gained independence in 1964, and Banda the presidency in 1966.  In 1970 he was named President-for-Life, a position held until he lost a UN pressured election in 1994.

Asia, Earth, Laos, Mainland Southeast Asia - Indochina, Southeast Asia

Laos – Modern Irrigation (1988, 500 kips)

Laos is a rugged, landlocked region in the midst of the Indochina peninsula. 80% of its land is hilly to mountainous.  Land suitable for agriculture, arable land, is located primarily along its major river, the Mekong, and its tributaries.  From rainy to dry seasons the elevation of the Mekong can fluctuate 20 meters.  The Mekong remained “untamed” along its entire length, that is, not a single spanning bridge, until 1994 when the Friendship bridge was opened, connecting Laos with Vietnam.

In 1893, Laos became a French colony. During WW2 it came under dominion of the Japanese, returning to France following the war. In 1954, Laos secured independence from France. Landlocked, surrounded by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China, for decades remained largely unknown to the rest of the world. That is changing.

Laos, modern irrigation systems
Laos, the fruit harvest
Asia, Iraq, Middle East, Southwest Asia

Iraq – 50 dinars

 

50 dinars Central Bank of Iraq

Medjool date palms are featured on this banknote of Iraq. The date palm has been cultivated for thousands of years in Iraq and has been a staple food since ancient times.

50 dinars Central Bank of Iraq

The great city of Basra is featured on this side of our Iraqi banknote. Basra is the main port of Iraq.  The illustration on our banknote shows a cargo ship moored at port and receiving grain for export from the dock-side grain silo.

Africa, Guinea-Bissau, Western Africa

Guinea-Bissau The Glorification of Triumph

Portuguese Guinea was a West African colony of Portugal from the late 15th century until 1973 when it declared independence from Portugal as Guinea-Bissau.  The Glorification of Triumph is celebrated in this beautiful banknote.

Banknote of Guniea-Bissau, 1000, back.

The beautiful artwork on the back of this banknote is the allegory named “Apoteose ao Triunfo”, which translates from the Portuguese as, the “Glorification of Triumph”.  In the foreground are men and women and children bringing forth in celebration the bounty of the land.  And in the background, as if illustrating what is in their minds as they celebrate, are universal images of triumph and glory.  In the foreground, the man standing on the right is holding an arade, a classic farming instrument of the region.  Everywhere there is bounty.  In the lower right there is a chicken and a goat.  In the center foreground there are baskets abounding with the tropical fruits of the land.  Standing on the right, a woman is holding a basket of fish, while seated on the left, one is pouring a cup of nectar.  All the while, musical instruments are being played.

1000 pesos banknote of Guinea-Bissau

From 1975 to 1997, the peso was the currency of Guinea-Bissau from 1975 to 1997.  In 1997 Guinea-Bissau switched to the West African CFA franc.1

Guinea-Bissau is on the West coast of Africa immediately South of Senegal.  It’s complex coastline, as seen in the image2 at the left, with its numerous islands bays and inlets, was attractive to the early Portuguese explorers.  They claimed the territory and named it Portuguese Guinea in 1446.

Portuguese Guinea became a major export port for the Portuguese Atlantic Slave Trade.

Africa, Central Africa, Gabon

Gabon – 2000 Francs – Year 2000

Banknote of Gabon, front.

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.

 

 

 

 

Currency of Gabon, back