The first banknotes were issued in 1914 in Cameroon, then under German occupation, by the Imperial Government of Cameroon. In 1922, following the First World War, France obtained a mandate to manage the Territory of Cameroon.
In 1945, following the Bretton Woods agreements, the French state created the CFA franc under the name of “franc of the French Colonies of Africa”. This new currency first replaces the franc of French Equatorial Africa (FEA) issues. Then in January 1955, the Issuing Institute of French Equatorial Africa and Cameroon was founded. In April 1959, this institute was quickly replaced by the Central Bank of the States of Equatorial Africa and Cameroon, more commonly known as the Central Bank. Finally, on November 22, 1972, this establishment took the final name of Bank of Central African States (BEAC).
The Bank of Central African States
The Bank of Central African States (French: Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale, BEAC) is the main monetary institution of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (French: Communauté économique et monétaire de l'Afrique centrale, CEMAC) and the central bank common to the six states (1) that constitute it (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad). Created on November 22, 1972 by the monetary cooperation agreements signed in Brazzaville, it succeeds the Central Bank of the States of Equatorial Africa and Cameroon. It has been based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) since January 1977 (2).
Mutualization of emissions!
Between 1993 and 2002, the Bank of Central African States launched a series of 5 banknotes of 500 francs, 1,000 francs, 2,000 francs, 5,000 francs and 10,000 francs, which had the distinction of being identical for the first time to the six states constituting the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. To spot the notes allocated to each country, an alphabet letter and a barcode have been printed on the front:
Example: the 2,000-franc Type 1993-2002 above was therefore issued for Cameroon: letter "E" and bar code N ° 2!
|C||Republic of Congo||N° 1|
|F||Central African Republic||N° 3|
|N||Equatorial Guinea||N° 5|
In 2002, the Bank of Central African States launched an issue of banknotes currently in circulation and comprising 5 denominations of 500 francs, 1,000 francs, 2,000 francs, 5,000 francs and 10,000 francs. As for the previous issue, each country is identified by an alphabet letter printed twice on the sides on the front but the bar code has disappeared this time:
Example: the 10,000-franc Type 2002 note above was issued for Cameroon with the letter "U".
|M||Central African Republic|
|T||Republic of Congo|
And tomorrow ?
The last issue of banknotes currently in circulation and which already dates from 2003 is running out of breath. This so-called safe and innovative issue when it came out, very quickly proved to be very fragile in terms of its solidity and its resistance over time. Banknotes have not been renewed for 17 years, the shortage of denominations is becoming more and more chronic ... In October 2019, the Bank of Central African States announced the launch of a new issue of banknotes for the six countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. But this issue is still not launched in manufacturing to date!
- "Les billets africains de la zone franc" by Roger Leclerc and Maurice Kolsky, Gadoury Editions 2000 (out of print).
- "The Banknote Book: Central African States" by Owen W. Linzmeyer.
- "The Banknote Book: Cameroon" by Owen W. Linzmeyer.
- "Cameroon" Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1368-1960, 12th édition (page 188).
- "Cameroon" Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1961-present, 17th édition (pages 201 to 204).
- Archives of cgb.fr auctions house.