The Republic of Rwanda is a country located in the South of the Equator in the Great Rift Valley, in East-Central Africa. A nation surrounded by land, particularly, bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Uganda to the north, and Tanzania and Burundi on the eastern and southern part of the nation respectively. Dubbed as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is counted as one of the tiniest nations in Africa yet, one of the nations with densest populations.
There were over a million Rwandans that were brutally killed during the genocide in 1994 in the 100-day terrorist killings. Following that tragic time, Rwanda’s overall economic status plummeted as a result of several economic disruptions. The primary reasons for the reduced economic activity include the instability of the nations’ facilities and infrastructure, the million lives lost from the intentional act of brutal and massive murders, and the widespread looting. Severely, Rwanda’s impoverished population (90%) survived mainly in traditional agriculture and some mineral extraction activities.

By the year 2008, the tourism and hospitality industry became an economic prime mover of nations’ foreign exchange earnings. GDP grew periodically averaging 7-8% since 2003. The continued economic growth is pleasing, nonetheless, most people still live below the poverty line.

In the 1960s, the economic union between Burundi and Rwanda was dissolved. As a result, Rwanda gained its independence and since 1964 the country has been using the Rwandan franc. Regular banknotes dated 1964 to 1965 were created and eventually placed into circulation. A 500-franc note bearing the portrait of Juvenal Habyarimana was issued by the National Bank of Rwanda in 1974.

He became the third president following Gregorie Kayibanda who was ousted from his presidential seat on July 5, 1973. Later, Habyarimana was assassinated and his demise impelled the Rwandan Genocide.

The National Bank of Rwanda issued a redesigned 500 franc note. One side bears the cows which represent the governments’ collective efforts of eradicating prevalent malnutrition of the younger populace and on the reverse shows students with XO computers which illustrate the fusion of technology in the educational system. Franc notes’ security features are enhanced such as the inclusion of windowed security thread with demetallized BNR. The most recent development for the improvement of the banknote’s security features happened in 2019 when additional security elements by Giesecke and Devrient were incorporated. In turn, this improved the notes’ quality and durability.

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