central african cfa franc money bills banknotes cash

Central African CFA Franc Currency Spotlight

In Business and Currency by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

The Central African CFA franc serves as the currency for six different countries throughout…Central Africa. They are: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Republic of the Congo.

  • Symbol: FCFA
  • Currency Code: XAF
  • Subunit: centime (1/100)
  • Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 francs
  • Banknotes: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 francs
  • Peg: 1 EUR = 655,957 XAF
  • Combined GDP (6 States): US$88.2 billion
  • Central Bank: Bank of Central African States

History

The CFA franc (of the Central African variety, not the West African which we mention later) came into use in 1945, replacing the French Equatorial African franc (which was introduced in 1917) throughout the French colonies in the region. While some of these colonies had different names and borders back then, they continued to use the multi-country currency as they gained their independence. Even Equatorial Guinea, which was actually a Spanish colony, adopted the CFA franc used by its neighbors.

Value

The Central African CFA franc (XAF) and the West African CFA franc (XOF) are on a fixed peg with the EUR. While formerly both CFA francs were pegged to the French franc at a value of 100 CFA francs to 1 French franc. Currently the peg is 1 EUR to 655,957 XAF (or XOF for that matter).

USD US dollar XAF Central African CFA franc

CAD Canadian dollar XAF Central African CFA franc

Coins

Central African CFA franc coins have gone through multiple iterations over the decades, often varying between the six countries. The first coins were issued in 1948, while higher denominations were introduced in 1961 and 1966. Later coins came into use in 1971, 1976, 1996, and 2006.

Notes

Since 1993, notes are issued centrally with just a letter denoting the different state (as opposed to each member issuing their own unique banknotes). The first variation of each denomination was generally issued throughout the early 90’s until 2002, whereas the second variation was issued in 2002.

ValueObverseReverse
500 francsZebus, manAntelope
500 francsClassroomWoman, huts
1000 francsCoffee harvest, manRaft
1000 francsLogging, manFieldwork
2000 francsTropical fruit, womanHarbor
2000 francsHydro dam, girlMining
5000 francsOil rig workersCotton harvest
5000 francsPort, manOil pumping station
10,000 francsBank of the Central African States building, womanFishery
10,000 francsBank of the Central African States building, womanTransport and communication

Source: Wikipedia

Economies

The economies of the six countries that use the Central African CFA franc vary dramatically. Gabon is relatively well off with a high per capita income, thanks largely to offshore oil. Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Chad also rely on oil reserves to boost the economy (though the latter has struggled over the years, and remains dependent on agriculture as well). The Central African Republic is a largely agricultural country.

central african cfa franc money bills banknotes cash

The Bottom Line

The Central African CFA franc serves multiple countries, many with oil and all with varying fortunes.


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