Angola's history of currency notes is quite diverse and reflects the country's tumultuous past and changing political and economic circumstances.
The first banknotes in Angola were issued in the late 19th century by private banks and foreign entities operating in the region. These early banknotes were often denominated in reis, the currency of the Portuguese Empire at the time.
In the early 20th century, Angola came under Portuguese colonial rule, and the Portuguese Escudo became the official currency. The Banco Nacional Ultramarino, the colonial bank, issued Banknotes in Escudos, and featured Portuguese imagery and symbols.
After Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975, the country went through a period of civil war and political instability. During this time, various factions and rebel groups issued their own currencies, often in the form of banknotes and vouchers, to meet the needs of their territories. These currencies were not widely recognized or accepted outside of their respective areas.
In 1990, as part of economic reforms, Angola introduced the kwanza as its official currency, replacing the Escudo. The National Bank of Angola became responsible for issuing and managing the currency. The first series of kwanza banknotes depicted Angola's national symbols, landscapes, and cultural elements.
Since then, Angola has introduced several series of banknotes with updated designs and improved security features. The banknotes feature images of important historical figures, natural landmarks, and cultural symbols of Angola. The denominations range from 10 to 20,000 kwanza.
It is important to note that the value and design of Angola's currency have been affected by periods of high inflation and economic instability. As a result, the government has implemented currency redenomination exercises to remove zeros from the currency and introduce new banknotes with higher denominations to cope with the devaluation.