The Equatorial African States is a monetary and customs union established in 1960. It is participated by the states of Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, and Gabon. Cameroon was also an associate member, however, it was only during the 1960s.
The Equatorial African States’ remarkable economic growth is a result of the exploration and exploitation of vast oil and gas reserves. However, the rise and fall of oil prices have caused the union’s GDP growth to fluctuate. Most of the population is involved in subsistence farming for their livelihood. Yet, forestry and farming only have a minor contribution to the GDP.
The Central African CFA Franc is the official currency of the six states which was introduced to the Equatorial African French colonies in 1945. The monetary unit replaced the French Equatorial African franc and is in circulation even after these colonies gained their freedom.
On April 4, 1959, the Central Bank of Equatorial African States and Cameroon was established and replaced the L’Institut d’emission de l’Afrique Equatoriale Francaise et du Cameroon. The bank issued a 100-franc note featuring colonial administrator Felix Adolphe Eboue wearing a military uniform. It also reflects a woman with a water jug on her head and huts with thatched roofs. The reverse of the note depicts trucks with boxes and ships at a port, and a bearded man.
The bank was renamed the Central Bank of Equatorial African States in 1963 and introduced 10,000-franc banknotes in 1968 and replaced the 100-franc notes with coins. Other banknotes issued between 1963 and 1968 were 100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 francs. These notes were printed by Banque de France in sizes that increase with the denomination. They reflect locals, economic activities, and various national motifs. Although they don’t have security threads, these notes are protected with a watermark that reveals a woman’s head.