The capital letter “C” in the top right corner and on lower left area of our banknote is the indicator that this West Africa banknote originates in Burkina Faso. This CFA franc is backed by the treasury of France and is a common currency for 8 West African countries. These countries as of the date of this post are Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Mali, Niger and Senegal.
The artwork is striking and sets these banknotes among the most beautiful in the world. The artist is Pierrette Lambert, who developed the art for numerous banknotes.1
In the background center is a uranium smelting plant.
On the reverse of our banknote we are treated to a typical local market scene.
The italicized text below is taken entirely from Wikipedia (reference at end) and is in this website for reference.
“The West African CFA franc (XOF) is known in French as the Franc CFA, where CFA stands for Communauté financière d’Afrique (“Financial Community of Africa”) or Communauté Financière Africaine (“African Financial Community”). It is issued by the BCEAO (Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, i.e., “Central Bank of the West African States”), located in Dakar, Senegal, for the eight countries of the UEMOA (Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine, i.e., “West African Economic and Monetary Union”): Benin Burkina Faso Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast Mali Niger Senegal Togo These eight countries have a combined population of 102.5 million people (as of 2013), and a combined GDP of US$78.4 billion (as of 2012).”1
The banknotes generally utilize the same images both on the front and the back. The country of issuance is identifiable by a country code, a single letter. 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
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 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
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
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.
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 17th and 18th centuries between the French and the British, these West African settlements changed hands again and again. But by the time of the late 19th century “scramble for Africa”, the French found themselves in the better position.
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.