The French territory of the Afars and Issas
In the second part of the 19th century, France intensified its colonial presence on the east coast of Africa in order to counter British influence in the region. In 1862, Napoleon III signed a trade treaty with Madagascar where he set up a French consulate. On the road which leads to "the red island" is the small territory of Obock, located near the city of Djibouti on the Gulf of Tadjourah and whose geostrategic position at the crossroads of three continents, excites the envy of the big western powers. It will be the first French anchor in the region which will then take the name of the French Somalis Coast (FSC) from 1896 to 1967.
Aerial view of the port of Djibouti. Detail of the front of the unnumbered proof of 5,000 francs Afars and Issas Type 1969 (Ref. Pick: # 30p or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 664p).
In June 1960, Somalia finally freed itself from the British Empire and to avoid any reference to this new neighbor, the French administration was forced to change the name "French Coast of the Somalis". Between 1967 and 1977, the colony was called the French Territory of the Afars et des Issas (FTAI). On June 27, 1977, the country's independence was proclaimed and the former French territory officially became the Republic of Djibouti.
Six banknotes are put into circulation during this period:
1) In 1969, the 5,000 francs Afars and Issas Type 1969 (Ref. Pick: # 30 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 664) is the first value issued. The banknote is identical to the 5,000 francs Type 1952 (Pick: # 29 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 661) except the name of the issuer “Trésor Public - Côte française des Somalis” (Fig. A) which is replaced by “Trésor Public - Territoire français des Afars et des Issas”(Fig. B).
2) In 1973, a second banknote was put into circulation: the 500 francs Afars and Issas Type 1973 (Pick: # 31 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 662). The banknote is identical to the 500 francs Type 1952 (Pick: # 27 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 659) except the name of the issuer which is also modified as for the 5,000 francs.
3) In 1974, a third banknote was put into circulation: the 1,000 francs Afars and Issas Type 1974 (Pick: # 32 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 663). The banknote is identical to the 1,000 francs Type 1952 (Pick: # 28 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 660) except the name of the issuer which is also modified as for the 500 francs and the 5,000 francs.
4) In 1975, three new original denominations were put into circulation: the 500 francs Afars and Issas Type 1975 (Pick: # 33 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 665), the 1,000 francs Afars and Issas Type 1975 (Pick: # 34 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 666) and the 5,000 francs Afars and Issas Type 1975 (Pick: # 35 or Kolsky-Muszynski: # 667).
These three banknotes will be issued again by the National Bank of Djibouti between 1979 and 1988 (Pick: # 36, # 37 and # 38).
- « Les billets de la Banque de l'Indochine » by Maurice Kolsky and Maurice Musynski. Gadoury Editions, 1996.
- « French Territory of Afars and Issas » by Owen W. Linzmeyer.
- « French Afars and Issas » Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1961-present, 17e édition (page 382).
- Photo Archives of cgb.fr.
- Numizon archive for proofs and specimens banknotes.