The Central African Republic (CAR) has had a diverse history of currency notes reflecting its changing political and economic circumstances. Here is an overview of the currency notes used in the country:
- French Equatorial African franc (FEAF): From 1945 to 1958, the CAR was part of the French Equatorial Africa federation, and the FEAF was the official currency. FEAF banknotes featured French and African symbols, such as portraits of French officials and African cultural motifs.
- Central African CFA franc (XAF): Following its independence in 1960, the CAR joined the Central African Monetary Union and adopted the Central African CFA franc as its official currency. CFA franc banknotes depicted local landmarks, cultural scenes, and important figures from the region. The designs of the banknotes were often shared among the member countries of the monetary union.
- National currency (Central African Republic franc): In 1974, the CAR introduced its own national currency, the Central African Republic franc (CFAR). CFAR banknotes depicted the country's wildlife, natural resources, historical figures, and landmarks. However, due to economic instability, high inflation, and currency devaluation, the CFAR faced challenges in maintaining its value and stability.
- Return to Central African CFA franc: In 1994, due to economic difficulties, the CAR reintroduced the Central African CFA franc as its official currency. The banknotes continued to feature shared designs used in the Central African Monetary Union, representing the cultural and natural heritage of the region.
The Central African CFA franc, denoted as XAF, remains the official currency of the Central African Republic to this day. The banknotes used in the CAR are the same as those used in other member countries of the monetary union, such as Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Cameroon. These banknotes feature a combination of French and African elements, including portraits, landmarks, and cultural symbols, reflecting the shared history and heritage of the region.