West African CFA franc

West African CFA franc

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local = franc CFA BCEAO fr icon
image_1 = Africa-countries-UEMOA.png image_title_1 = Member countries
iso_code = XOF
using_countries = Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo
pegged_with = euro = CFA 655.957
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100
subunit_name_1 = centime
symbol = CFA
symbol_subunit_1 = c
nickname = céfa, franc
used_coins = 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 francs
used_banknotes = 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 francs
issuing_authority = Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest
issuing_authority_website = www.bceao.int
The West African CFA franc (French: "franc CFA" or simply "franc", ISO 4217 code: "XOF") is the currency of eight independent states spanning over convert|860000000|acre|km2 in west Africa, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. CFA stands for "Communauté financière d'Afrique" ("Financial Community of Africa"). It is issued by the BCEAO ("Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest", "Central Bank of the West African States"), located in Dakar, Sénégal, for the members of the UEMOA ("Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine", "West African Economic and Monetary Union"). The franc is nominally subdivided into 100 "centimes" but no centime denominations have been issued.

In several central African states, the Central African CFA franc, which is of equal value to the West African CFA franc, is in circulation.


The CFA franc was introduced to the French colonies in west Africa in 1945, replacing the French West African franc. The west African colonies and territories using the CFA franc were Côte d'Ivoire, Dahomey, French Sudan, Mauritania, Niger, Sénégal, Togo and Upper Volta. The currency continued in use when these colonies gained their independence, except in Mali (formerly French Sudan), which replaced at par the CFA franc with its own franc in 1961. In 1973, Mauritania replaced the CFA franc with the ouguiya at a rate of 1 ouguiya = 5 francs. Mali readopted the CFA franc in 1984, at a rate of 1 CFA franc = 2 Malian francs. The former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau adopted the CFA franc in 1994, replacing the Guinea Bissau peso at a rate of 1 CFA franc = 65 pesos.


In 1948, aluminium 1- and 2-franc coins were introduced. These were followed in 1956 by aluminium-bronze 5, 10 and 25 francs. All carried the name "Afrique Occidentale Française". In 1957, 10- and 25-franc coins were issued with the name of Togo added. From 1959, coins have been issued by the BCEAO. Nickel 100-franc coins were introduced in 1967, followed by the cupro-nickel 50-franc coins in 1972. Small, steel 1-franc coins were introduced in 1976 (struck until 1995), followed by bimetallic 250 francs in 1992 (struck until 1996). In 2003, bimetallic 200- and 500-franc coins were introduced.


When the CFA franc was introduced, notes issued by the Banque Centrale de les Etats de l'Afrique Occidentale in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 1000 francs were in circulation. 500-franc notes were added in 1946, followed by those of 5,000 francs in 1948. In 1955, the "Institut d'Emission de l'A.O.F. et du Togo" took over the production of paper money, issuing notes for 50, 100, 500 and 1000 francs.

In 1959, the BCEAO took over the issuance of paper money and reintroduced a 5,000-franc note. With the exception of a few early issues, the notes of the BCEAO carry a letter to indicate the country of issuance. 50 francs notes were last issued in 1959, with 100 francs not issued since 1965. 10,000-franc notes were introduced in 1977, followed by 2,500-franc notes in 1992

In 2004, a new series of notes was introduced in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 francs, with the 500 francs note having been replaced by a coin the year before. The newer notes contain updated security features and are more modern in design. The change was welcomed because of a perception that the old notes were dirty and disease-ridden ( [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3654920.stm 1] ). The colour of the 5,000-franc note was changed from blue to green.

Future proposals

The English-speaking states of Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, along with the French-speaking state of Guinea, have formed the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) and will introduce a common currency, the Eco, on 1 December 2009. Liberia is also set to join this monetary zone, whose ultimate goal is to unite the UEMOA and the WAMZ to form a single West African monetary zone.

ee also

* Economy of Benin
* Economy of Burkina Faso
* Economy of Côte d'Ivoire
* Economy of Guinea-Bissau
* Economy of Mali
* Economy of Niger
* Economy of Senegal
* Economy of Togo
* Euro
* Amero
* Central African CFA franc
* African Central Bank
* Monetary union


*numis cite SCWC|date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1994

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Wafrica
world_coin_gallery_1_name = West African States
world_coin_gallery_1_anchor = WAfrSt
world_coin_gallery_2_url = Benin
world_coin_gallery_2_name = Benin
world_coin_gallery_3_url = Burkina
world_coin_gallery_3_name = Burkina Faso
world_coin_gallery_4_url = Ivory_Coast
world_coin_gallery_4_name = Ivory Coast
world_coin_gallery_5_url = Niger
world_coin_gallery_5_name = Niger
world_coin_gallery_6_url = Senegal
world_coin_gallery_6_name = Senegal
world_coin_gallery_7_url = Togo
world_coin_gallery_7_name = Togo
banknote_world_1_url = west_african_states
banknote_world_1_name = West African States
banknote_world_2_url = ivorycoast
banknote_world_2_name = Ivory Coast
banknote_world_3_url = Senegal
banknote_world_3_name = Senegal
dollarization_1_url = bj
dollarization_1_name = Benin
dollarization_2_url = bf
dollarization_2_name = Burkina Faso
dollarization_3_url = ci
dollarization_3_name = Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
dollarization_4_url = gw
dollarization_4_name = Guinea-Bissau
dollarization_5_url = ml
dollarization_5_name = Mali
dollarization_6_url = ne
dollarization_6_name = Niger
dollarization_7_url = sn
dollarization_7_name = Senegal
dollarization_8_url = tg
dollarization_8_name = Togo
gfd_1_url = Benin
gfd_1_name = Benin
gfd_2_url = Burkina_Faso
gfd_2_name = Burkina Faso
gfd_3_url = C%F4te_d%92Ivoire
gfd_3_name = Côte d’Ivoire
gfd_4_url = Guinea-Bissau
gfd_4_name = Guinea-Bissau
gfd_5_url = Mali
gfd_5_name = Mali
gfd_6_url = Niger
gfd_6_name = Niger
gfd_7_url = Senegal
gfd_7_name = Senegal
gfd_8_url = Togo
gfd_8_name = Togo
gfd_data_1_url =
gfd_data_1_name =
show_gfd_excel = Y

* [http://www.uemoa.int/ Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA)] (Official Site of the West African Economic and Monetary Union)
* [http://www.home.earthlink.net/~wburson/Latest.htm "The Many Varieties of West African States Banknotes"] by Weldon D. Burson

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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