|West African CFA franc|
|franc CFA BCEAO (French)|
Current coins of the West African CFA franc
|Banknotes||500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 francs CFA|
|Coins||1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 250, 500 francs CFA|
|Central bank||Central Bank of West African States|
|Pegged with||euro = 655.957|
|100 West African CFA francs (1981).|
|Obverse: Sawfish (symbol of BCEAO). Lettering "BANQUE CENTRALE DES ETATS DE L'AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST".||Reverse: Face-value and year amid flowers. BCEAO lettering at the border.|
|347,889,600 coins minted (1967 to 2004).|
The West African CFA franc (French: franc CFA; Portuguese: franco CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code: XOF) is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. These eight countries had a combined population of 105.7 million people in 2014, and a combined GDP of US$128.6 billion (as of 2018).
The acronym CFA stands for Communauté Financière d'Afrique ("Financial Community of Africa") or Communauté Financière Africaine ("African Financial Community"). The currency is issued by the BCEAO (Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, "Central Bank of the West African States"), located in Dakar, Senegal, for the members of the UEMOA (Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine, "West African Economic and Monetary Union"). The franc is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes but no centime denominations have been issued.
The CFA franc was introduced to the French colonies in West Africa in 1945, replacing the French West African franc. The West African colonies and territories using the CFA franc were Ivory Coast, Dahomey, French Sudan, Mauritania, Niger, Sénégal, Togo and Upper Volta. The currency continued in use when these colonies gained their independence, except in Mali (formerly French Sudan), which replaced at par the CFA franc with its own franc in 1961.
In 1973, Mauritania replaced the CFA franc with the ouguiya at a rate of 1 ouguiya = 5 francs. Mali readopted the CFA franc in 1984, at a rate of 1 CFA franc = 2 Malian francs. The former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau adopted the CFA franc in 1997, replacing the Guinea-Bissau peso at a rate of 1 CFA franc = 65 pesos.
For coins struck prior to the CFA franc, see French West African franc
In 1948, aluminium 1 and 2 franc coins were introduced. These were followed in 1956 by aluminium-bronze 5, 10, and 25 francs. All carried the name "Afrique Occidentale Française". In 1957, 10 and 25 franc coins were issued with the name of "Togo" were minted for use in that country, these were issued only for that year. From 1959, all coins have been issued by the BCEAO.
From 1959 onward, the overall size and composition of the coins changed little, however "République français" and the stylized Marianne bust was dropped from all coins, replaced with the title "Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest" with the design on the 1, 5, 10, and 25 francs featuring a gazelle's profile, carried over from colonial issues, and a tribal mask between the denomination, which has become the emblem of the West African monetary union. Nickel-Steel 100 franc coins were introduced in 1967, followed by the cupro-nickel 50 franc coins in 1972. These also featured the familiar tribal mask. Small, stainless steel 1 franc coins were introduced in 1976, replacing the larger aluminum 1 franc coins, and were struck until 1995. The 10 and 25 franc coins saw a redesign in 1980, depicting a family using a water pump and a young woman with chemistry tools, respectively. A bimetallic 250 francs was introduced in 1992 to reduce excess change. These coins, however, proved to be unpopular in many regions and were discontinued after 1996. They are however, still legal tender. In 2003, bimetallic 200 and 500 franc coins were introduced, replacing smaller denomination notes. Like all the other West CFA franc coins, these depicted the mask emblem.
Unlike some coins of the Central African CFA franc, no modern circulation coins have been issued depicting the names of individual member states, nor any letters or marks of indication.
All CFA coins depict both a mint mark, along with an engraver's privy mark. The mint mark is located on the reverse on the left side of the denomination or date while the engraver's mark is located on the right.
When the CFA franc was introduced, notes issued by the Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique Occidentale in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 1000 francs were in circulation. 500-franc notes were added in 1946, followed by those of 5,000 francs in 1948. In 1955, the Institut d'Emission de l'A.O.F. et du Togo took over the production of paper money, issuing notes for 50, 100, 500 and 1000 francs.
In 1959, the BCEAO took over the issuance of paper money and reintroduced a 5,000-franc note. With the exception of a few early issues, the notes of the BCEAO carry a letter to indicate the country of issuance. 50-franc notes were last issued in 1959, with 100 francs not issued since 1965. 10,000-franc notes were introduced in 1977, followed by 2,500-franc notes in 1992
In 2004, a new series of notes was introduced in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 francs, with the 500-franc note having been replaced by a coin the year before. The newer notes contain updated security features and are more modern in design. The change was welcomed because of a perception that the old notes were dirty and disease-ridden. The colour of the 5,000-franc note was changed from blue to green. On November 30, 2012, the Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Central Bank of the West African States) issued a 500-franc banknote.
|500 francs||Flood control dam; man ||Garden tractor||A (Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast); B (Benin); C (Burkina Faso); D (Mali); H (Niger); K (Senegal); T (Togo); S (Guinea-Bissau)|
|1,000 francs||Hauling peanuts; woman ||Carvings; women; riverside storage bins||A (Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast); B (Benin); C (Burkina Faso); D (Mali); H (Niger); K (Senegal); T (Togo); S (Guinea-Bissau)|
|2,500 francs||Hydroelectric dam; woman ||Spraying pesticide||A (Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast); B (Benin); C (Burkina Faso); D (Mali); H (Niger); K (Senegal); T (Togo)|
|5,000 francs||Smelting plant; women ||A group of women||A (Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast); B (Benin); C (Burkina Faso); D (Mali); H (Niger); K (Senegal); T (Togo); S (Guinea-Bissau)|
|10,000 francs||Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Central Bank of the West African States) building, Dakar; man ||A woman walking on a vine bridge|
|500 francs CFA||Sawfish shaped brass weight of the Ashanti people for weighing gold dust; Computerization in West Africa: hand touching a touch tablet PC which is connected to West African countries on the outline map of Africa||Hippopotamuses|
|1000 francs CFA||Sawfish shaped brass weight of the Ashanti people for weighing gold dust; symbols of education and health||Camels|
|2000 francs CFA||Sawfish shaped brass weight of the Ashanti people for weighing gold dust; transportation||Fish|
|5000 francs CFA||Sawfish shaped brass weight of the Ashanti people for weighing gold dust; agriculture||Antelopes (Kobus kob kob)|
|10,000 francs CFA||Sawfish shaped brass weight of the Ashanti people for weighing gold dust; telecommunications||Birds (Tauroco macrorhynchus)|
- Central African CFA franc
- Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU)
- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
- African and Malagasy Union (AMU)
- African Central Bank
- Monetary union
- Economy of Benin
- Economy of Burkina Faso
- Economy of Guinea-Bissau
- Economy of Ivory Coast
- Economy of Mali
- Economy of Niger
- Economy of Senegal
- Economy of Togo
- Population Reference Bureau. "2014 World Population Data Sheet" (PDF).
- International Monetary Fund. "List of countries by GDP (nominal)" (wiki). Retrieved 2019-01-25.
- "Présentation" (in French). Central Bank of West African States. Retrieved July 14, 2012. (in French)
- "The Many Varieties of West African States Banknotes". Home.earthlink.net. 1959-04-04. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "West Africa ditches dirty money". BBC News. 2004-09-15. Archived from the original on 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
-  Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Central Bank of the West African States). Retrieved on 2012-11-07.
- West African States new 500-franc note to be issued 30 November 2012 BanknoteNews.com. November 7, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.
- Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
- Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Money of the West African monetary union.|
- (in French) Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) (Official Site of the West African Economic and Monetary Union)
- West African CFA franc Banknotes
- West African CFA franc Coins
- "The Many Varieties of West African States Banknotes" by Weldon D. Burson