The ephemeral state of Katanga

Discover all the banknotes issued between 1960 and 1962!

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Historical review

Since 2015, Katanga (renamed Haut-Katanga) is currently one of the 26 provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This province, originally as large as Spain, has always been the object of much envy. The region, which is full of noble mineral deposits (cobalt, copper, uranium, diamonds, etc.) begins to be exploited intensely from the end of the 19th century during the Belgian colonial occupation.

In June 1960, when the Belgian Congo gained its independence, Katanga decided to secede from the new democratic republic of Congo, then ruled by Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961) and then proclaimed its independence under the leadership of Moïse Tshombé (1919 -1969) who became its president on July 11, 1960. But in September, Joseph Mobutu orchestrated a coup and Lumumba was deposed and then assassinated. For two years Mobutu's military forces under the aegis of the United Nations fought the mercenaries of Tshombe and Katanga was finally reintegrated into the Congo in January 1963 following a plan for national reconciliation (1). The Young State will only have existed for two years!

Katanga issues

1 - The banknotes of "Rwanda-Burundi" overprinted "GOUVERNEMENT KATANGA"

This 1961 issue for Katanga includes 4 notes of 5 francs, 10 francs, 20 francs and 50 francs issued by the Bank of Issue of Rwanda and Burundi (Pick: # 1, # 2, # 3 and # 4). The denominations are horizontally overprint in red “GOUVERNEMENT KATANGA”. No banknote in suitable grade were found to illustrate this part of the catalog. All of these notes are extremely rare!

2 - Banknotes not issued by the National Bank of Katanga in 1960

A 10 franc Type 1960 essay was designed by the English printer Thomas De La Rue (TDLR) with the wording “Bank of the Republic of Katanga”. Two other 10 and 20 Franc Type 1960 banknotes were produced by the English printer Waterlow & Sons Limited in December 1960 but remained unissued ... It was finally the Swiss printing company Roto-Sadag S.A. which won the market for the regular 1960 issue.

3 - National Bank of Katanga. 1960 Issues

6 practically identical banknotes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 francs bearing the effigy of "Moïse Tshombé".

4 - National Bank of Katanga. 1962 Issues

3 banknotes of 100, 500 and 1000 francs issued in “Francs Katangais (Katangese Francs)”.


(1) Katanga province, wikipedia source.

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