Paper Money

Central African states issue five new notes in series

The Bank of Central African States, the common bank for the six-member Central African Economic and Monetary Community, released new bank notes on Dec. 15.

Images courtesy of the Bank of Central African States.

The Bank of Central African States, the common bank for the six-member Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo,) released new bank notes Dec. 15.

The new notes, in 500- , 1,000-, 2,000-, 5,000- and 10,000-CFA-franc denominations, were authorized in a Nov. 7 extraordinary session of the Ministerial Committee of the Central African Monetary Union in N’Djamena, Chad, marking the bank’s 50th anniversary. The older Series 1992 bank notes are demonetized and no longer serve as legal tender. They can be exchanged at commercial banks until June 2023. After that, it can be done at BEAC (acronym from the French, Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale) counters until June 2024. Current Series 2002 notes will be gradually withdrawn from circulation beginning in 2023.

The new notes are the first to include, in addition to French, the other three official languages in the Central African monetary zone: Spanish, English and Arabic.

BEAC’s publicity introducing the series describes them as smaller, more modern, and with better security. The notes were printed in France. The East African says the notes have technical characteristics similar to the euro and are more aesthetic than current notes.

Except for color and denomination, the faces of the notes are identical, showing a rendition of the bank’s headquarters building in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The 500-franc note, worth 80 cents, is dedicated to modern agriculture and the back shows a tractor. The health-themed 1,000-franc note has a back scene of a patient and two woman medical practitioners in a modern hospital room. Both notes have a surface treatment applied to help resist dirt and rips.

The 2,000- and 5,000-franc notes’ theme is environmental protection. The 2,000-franc issue is dedicated to flora, with a back design of a bird flying in the jungle, while the 5,000-franc note is for fauna and on its back is a landscape populated with elephants, ostriches, and antelopes.

The theme of the 10,000-franc note is education, and on the back a teacher instructs students at a table, while a young boy works on a tablet.

A windowed security thread is used on the three higher denominations.

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