Gabon 2000 back (4)

Gabon – 2000 Francs – Year 2000

Gabon 2000 Francs Banknote, Year 2000 – Face and Back
Central African CFA 2000 Franc Banknote Gabon 2000 front
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.

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)

closeup map of gabon detail of Gabon 2000 Francs Banknote, Year 2000

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.

CFA 2000 Franc Banknote Gabon 2000 back (2)
Currency of Gabon, back

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.

Guinea-Bissau 1000 Peso 1993 banknote back (3), featuring allegory “Apoteose ao Triunfo”, which translates from the Portuguese as, the “Glorification of Triumph”

Guinea-Bissau the Glorification of Triumph

Guinea-Bissau 1000 Peso Banknote – Face and Back

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.

Guinea-Bissau 1000 Peso Banknote back, featuring the allegory named “Apoteose ao Triunfo”

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.

Guinea-Bissau 1000 Peso Banknote front
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.

map of Giuinea-Bissau
map of Giuinea-Bissau

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.

Laos 500 Kip 1988 banknote front (2), featuring modern irrigation systems

Laos – Modern Irrigation (1988, 500 Kips)

Laos 500 Kips Banknote, Year 1988 – Face and Back

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 500 kips banknote, year 1988 front, featuring modern irrigation systems
Laos, modern irrigation systems
Laos 500 kips banknote, year 1988 back, featuring fruit harvest
Laos, the fruit harvest
Malawi 1 Kwacha 1992 banknote back (2) featuring workers harvesting tobacco

Malawi – Tobacco

Malawi 1 Kwacha Banknote – Face and Back
Malawi 1 kwacha banknote (1993) reverse, featuring farmers harvesting 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 kwacha banknote (1993) obverse, featuring portrait of President-for-Life Hastings Banda
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.

Malawi 5 Kwacha 2005 banknote back (2) Featuring mother and children preparing food - Food Security

Malawi – Food Security

Malawi 5 Kwacha Banknote, Year 2005 – Face and Back
Malawi 5 kwacha banknote  (2005) reverse - featuring an image of family preparing food - 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 kwacha banknote  (2005) front, featuring portrait of John Chilembwe
Malawi, 5 kwatcha banknote, featuring John Chilembwe, Preacher and Political Activist, early advocate of Independence for Malawi
Ethiopia 10 Birr 2006 banknote front (2) featuring a weaver

Ethiopia – 10 Birr – Year 2006

Back to Ethiopia

Ethiopia 10 Birr banknote year 2006 front, featuring woman weaving
Ethiopia 10 Birr (2006) front

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 10 Birr banknote year 2006 back, featuring man riding on tractor
Ethiopia 10 Birr (2006) back

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

Uganda 5 Shilling banknote back (2) featuring woman harvesting coffee beans

Uganda – 1979

Uganda 5 Shillings Banknote – Face and Back
Uganda 5 shilling banknote front
Uganda 5

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.

close up of Uganda coat of arms from 5 shilling banknote front (2)
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 shilling banknote back, featuring woman harvesting coffee beans
Uganda 5 shillings banknote

The reverse of our 5 shillings banknote features a woman harvesting a rich crop of coffee beans.  This beautiful image has appeared on several Ugandan banknotes, including the 1977 banknote of the same denomination and bearing the image of Idi Amin on the front.

It was 1979 when Idi Amin was overthrown. We hold this banknote to commemorate that happy year.

Following the ouster of Idi Amin, an interim government lasting a little over a year was established and occupied by three leaders, Yusuf Lule for 68 days, Godfrey Binaisa for 327 days, and Paulo Muwanga for 10 days. Following this interim period, Obote, once again, came into power.

Benin 500 Francs Banknote, Year 1994

Benin – 500 Francs – Year 1994

Benin 500 Francs Banknote, Year 1994 – Face and Back
West african CFA 500 franc banknote front
Benin CFA franc
West african CFA 500 franc banknote back
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

Read more about the flag and coat of arms of Benin.

Tanzania 500 Shilling banknote front featuring giraffe

Tanzania – 500 Shilingi

Tanzania 500 Shilingi Banknote – Face and Back
Tanzania 500 shilingi banknote back featuring coffee harvest
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 500 Shilingi banknote front featuring coat of arms and giraffe and zebra
Tanzania

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

detail from Tanzania 500 shilingi banknote front (3) featuring coat of arms
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.