The Federal Republic of Somalia is the easternmost country in the Horn of Africa. It is surrounded by the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, Kenya to the southwest, Ethiopia to the west, and Djibouti to the northwest. Somalia has the longest coastland in mainland Africa. It is also an important geopolitical meeting point between the countries of Arabia and southwest Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Somalia is Africa’s most culturally homogenous country because 85% of its population is Somali. The Republic of Somalia was formed by the federation of a former Italian colony and a British protectorate in 1960. Mohamed Siad Barre reigned over Somalia from October 1969 to January 1991. After his dictatorship, the Republic of Somaliland in the north declared its independence and separated. In 1998, the autonomous region of Puntland also declared itself as the Puntland State of Somalia and separated. The Federal Republic of Somalia was officially declared in 2012. 60% of Somalia’s economy is based on agriculture with a large emphasis on livestock raising.

The official currency of Somalia is the Somali shilling or Somali scellini. One shilling is equivalent to 100 senti, 100 cents, or 100 centesimi.

The Banca Nazionale Somala (National Bank of Somalia, BNS) was established in 1960. It combined central and commercial banking activities and responsibilities. Early shilling notes in 1962 had leopard head watermarks, different landmarks at the back, and lacked security threads. Four years later in 1966, the bank introduced notes with added security features including solid security threads and fluoresces blue under UV light.
In 1975, the Bankiga Qaranka Soomaaliyeed (Somali National Bank, BQS) took over issuing authority from the BNS. The only series of notes issued by the BQS featured the Somali coat of arms, landmarks, and local animals.

Two years later in 1977, the issuing authority of the BQS was transferred to the Bankiga Dhexe ee Soomaaliya (Central Bank of Somalia). In 1982, the Central Bank reduced the size of the banknotes and introduced new denominations: the 50 shilling note, the 500 shilling note, and the 1,000 shilling note. Centralized government ceased after the outbreak of the civil war in November 1990, and later dated notes were issued by unauthorized leaders such as rival warlords and local businessmen.    

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