French Somaliland

French Somaliland or the French Coast of the Somalis was a French settlement that existed between 1884 and 1967. The nation was situated in the Horn of Africa and was formally formed in 1896 following the signing of the treaty by the Issa and Afar with the French.  

The nation’s economy depends mainly on agriculture and production. The country exports livestock to its nearby lands such as Ethiopia and Djibouti as well as the countries to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Its strategic position along the Gulf of Aden, near the ingress to an important sea lane, the Bab al-Mandeb, has helped French Somaliland draw new development deals.  

French Somaliland’s currency was the franc. On January 21, 1875, the Banque de l’Indo-Chine was established in Paris. The bank had plans to open in French India and French Cochinchina. Eventually, it had 28 branches and agencies across the globe. 

In 1901, a set of banknotes was released with Djibouti as the place of issue. These banknotes feature an allegorical figure, such as France and Neptune, on the obverse and the penal code on the reverse. 

Between 1927 and 1941, another family of notes was issued by the Bank of Indo-China. The 5-franc banknote from this series featured the personification of France, Marian, wearing a helmet.  

The country became part of the Free French forces on December 28, 1942. Provisional banknotes were issued bearing two different overprints. One was with Cote Francaise des Somalis /B.I.C / DJIBOUTI / Cote Francaise des Somalis while the other one consists of the initials F.C. which stands for France Combattante on a guilloche rosette.  

Because of its close ties with the Vichy government, French Somaliland no longer had access to its original supplier of banknotes, the Banque de France. Therefore, it sourced its notes from Palestine. These banknotes were put into circulation on February 19, 1945. These banknotes were lithographed on paper. They didn’t have any security threads and watermarks.

On March 17, 1949, the Public Treasury was formed and took over the issuance of banknotes from the Banque de l’Indochine. In 1952, the Public Treasury released a set of notes in denominations of 5, 100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 francs.  

On July 5, 1967, French Somaliland has renamed the French Territory of Afars and Issas which are the two greater populations in the nation.

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