French Equatorial Africa

French Equatorial Africa or French Afrique Équatoriale Française (AEF) is what they collectively call the four French territories in central Africa from 1910 to 1959. The French Equatorial Africa franc was their old currency. It circulated, together with distinct banknotes and coins from 1917 and 1942, respectively. In 1945, the French franc was replaced by the CFA franc. The General Government of French Equatorial Africa made emergency issues of 1 and 2 franc notes in 1917. A temporary issue of 25 franc notes was produced by overprinting notes of French West Africa in 1925. No additional notes were produced till 1940, when the General Government made an emergency issue of 1000 and 5000 franc notes and were followed by Free French issues for 5, 10, 20, 25, 100, and 1000 francs in 1941. The Caisse Centrale de la France d'Outre-Mer took over the production in 1944, issuing notes for 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 francs. These notes continued to circulate after 1945 as CFA francs. 

The CFA franc was introduced in 1945 to the French colonies in Equatorial Africa. It replaced the French Equatorial African franc. The following colonies and territories using the CFA franc were Chad, French Cameroun, French Congo, Gabon, and Ubangi-Shari. It remained in use even when these colonies gained independence. 

The Central African CAF has its origins in France’s African colonial empire. France ruled over much of Central and West Africa beginning from the middle of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. The French government established French Equatorial Africa in 1910, which was a federation of French colonial territories in Equatorial Africa, stretching northwards from the Congo River into the Sahel. 

The establishment of the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa occurred in 1964 with the signing of the Treaty of Brazzaville. Signatory countries are the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, and the Republic of Congo. The only former Spanish colony in the monetary union, Equatorial Guinea, joined it in 1983 and used the Central African CFA franc as its currency the following year. In 1972, the Bank of Central African States displaced the Central Bank of Equatorial Africa and Cameroon as the region’s banking supervisor and the currency manager. The economy and culture of the six countries that use the Central African CFA franc are diverse.

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