East African shilling

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East African shilling
Central bank East African Currency Board
User(s)

All in the 1900s:

Superunit
 20 pound
Subunit
 1/100 cent
Coins 1, 5, 10, 50 cents,1 shilling
Banknotes 5, 10, 20, 100 shillings

The East African shilling was the currency issued for use in British controlled areas in East Africa from 1921 until 1969.[1] It was produced by the East African Currency Board. It is also the proposed name for a common currency that the East African Community plans to introduce.

The old East African Shilling (left), East African Shilling (right)

History[edit]

First East African shilling[edit]

The pound sterling was originally divided into twenty shillings, and it is normal to consider the shilling sterling to be a subsidiary unit of the pound. However, in British East Africa, even though twenty shillings were equal in value to one pound sterling, the shilling was always taken to be the primary unit of account. This state of affairs was unique amongst all the parts of the British Empire that used the sterling currency.

This anomalous state of affairs arose because British East Africa was actually originally in the rupee zone and not in the sterling zone. The East African shilling was introduced to Kenya, Tanganyika (now mainland Tanzania), and Uganda in 1921, replacing the short-lived florin at a rate of 2 shillings = 1 florin. The short lived Florin had been brought about as a result of the rising price of silver which occurred in the wake of World War I. At that time, the Indian Rupee was the currency of the British East African states. The Rupee, being a silver coin rose in value against sterling. When it reached the value of two shillings, the authorities decided to replace it with the Florin. From the florin thence came the East African shilling. The currency remained pegged to one shilling sterling and was subdivided into 100 cents.[2][3][4] In 1936, Zanzibar joined the currency board, and the Zanzibari rupee was replaced at a rate of 1.5 East African shillings = 1 Zanzibari rupee.[3] It was replaced by local currencies (Kenyan shilling, Ugandan shilling and Tanzanian shilingi) following the colonies' independence.[2][3][4]

In 1951, the East African shilling replaced the Indian Rupee in the Aden colony and protectorate, which became the South Arabian Federation in 1963. In 1965, the East African Currency Board was breaking up, and the South Arabian dinar replaced the shilling in the South Arabian Federation at a rate of 20 shillings to 1 dinar.[1][5]

The shilling was also used in parts of what is now Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea when they were under British control. Before 1941, these areas, then known as Italian East Africa were using the Italian East African lira. In 1941, as a result of World War II, Britain regained control and introduced the shilling, at a rate of 1 shilling to 24 lira. Italian Somaliland was returned to Italy in 1949 as a UN Trusteeship and soon switched to the Italian Somaliland somalo, which was at par with the shilling. British Somaliland gained independence in 1960, and joined what had been Italian Somaliland to create Somalia. In that year Somalia began using the Somali shilling (replacing the Somali somalo) at par with the East African shilling.[6] The East African shilling ceased to be legal tender in Somalia during 1961.[citation needed] Ethiopia regained independence in 1941, with British support and began using the East African shilling. Maria Theresa Thalers, Indian rupees, and Egyptian pound were also legal tender at the beginning of this time, and it is unclear exactly when this status ended. Full sovereignty was restored in late 1944, and the Ethiopian birr was reintroduced in 1945 at a rate of 1 birr = 2 shillings.[7] Eritrea was captured from the Italians in 1941, and began using the East African shilling, as well as the Egyptian pound, with the lira demonetized in 1942. When Eritrea formed a federation with Ethiopia in 1952, the birr, which was already in use in Ethiopia, was adopted in Eritrea.[8]

For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see The History of British Currency in the Middle East.

Second East African shilling[edit]

A new version of the currency is proposed by the East African Community, which consists of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

Previously, it was estimated that the Second East African shilling would be introduced into circulation in 2012 but the studies that are currently guiding the process propose 2015.

Coins[edit]

Issued during the reign of George V[edit]

Issued during the reign of George V
Image Value Catalog number Technical parameters Description Dates Remarks
Mass Composition Obverse Reverse
[1] 1 cent KM 22 Bronze "GEORGIVS V", "REX ET IND:IMP:", crown, value "EAST AFRICA", value, date 1922-1935 central hole
5 cents KM 18 1921-1936
10 cents KM 19
[2] 50 cents
½ shilling
KM 20 3.8879g 25% silver "GEORGIVS V", "REX ET IND:IMP:", bust of George V Dual value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, date 1921-1924
[3] 1 shilling KM 21 7.7759g Value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, date 1921-1925
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Issued during the reign of Edward VIII[edit]

Issued during the reign of Edward VIII
Image Value Catalog number Composition Description Dates Remarks
Obverse Reverse
[4] 5 cents KM 23 Bronze "EDWARDVS VIII", "REX ET IND:IMP:", crown, value "EAST AFRICA", value, date 1936 Central hole
10 cents KM 24
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Issued during the reign of George VI[edit]

As GEORGIVS VI[edit]

Issued during the reign of George VI as GEORGIVS VI
Image Value Catalog number Technical parameters Description Dates Remarks
Mass Composition Obverse Reverse
1 cent KM 29 Bronze "GEORGIVS VI", "REX ET IND:IMP:", crown, value "EAST AFRICA", value, date 1942 central hole
5 cents KM 25 1936 central hole
KM 25.1 1937-1941 central hole, thick flan
[5] KM 25.2 1941-1943 central hole, thin flan
KM 25.3 1942 NO central hole, thin flan
10 cents KM 26.1 1937-1941 some with central hole, some without, thick flan
KM 26.2 1942-1945 central hole, thin flan
50 cents
½ shilling
KM 27 3.8879g 25‰ silver "GEORGIVS VI", "REX ET INDIÆ IMPERATOR", bust of George VI Dual value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, date 1937-1944
1 shilling KM 28.1 7.7759g Value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, date 1937-1944 edge reeding spaced out
KM 28.2 1941 rare, thicker rim, larger milling, minor design differences
KM 28.3 1942-1943 retouched central image on reverse
KM 28.4 1944-1946 same as KM 28.1 with edge reeding close
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

As GEORGIVS SEXTVS[edit]

Issued during the reign of George VI as GEORGIVS SEXTVS
Image Value Catalog number Composition Description Dates Remarks
Obverse Reverse
[6] 1 cent KM 32 Bronze "GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX", crown, value "EAST AFRICA", value, date 1949-1952 central hole
[7] 5 cents KM 33 1949-1952
10 cents KM 34 1949-1952
[8] 50 cents
½ shilling
KM 30 Cupronickel "GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX", bust of George VI Dual value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, date 1948-1952
[9] 1 shilling KM 31 Value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, date 1948-1952
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Issued during the reign of Elizabeth II[edit]

Issued during the reign of Elizabeth II
Image Value Catalog number Composition Description Dates Remarks
Obverse Reverse
[10] 1 cent KM 35 Bronze "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND", crown, value "EAST AFRICA", value, date 1954-1962 central hole
[11] 5 cents KM 37 1955-1963
10 cents KM 38 1956-1964
[12] 50 cents
½ shilling
KM 36 Cupronickel "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND", bust of Elizabeth II Dual value, "EAST AFRICA", lion in front of mountain, year of minting 1954-1963
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Issued after independence[edit]

Issued after independence
Image Value Catalog number Composition Description Dates Remarks
Obverse Reverse
[13] 5 cents KM 39 Bronze "SENTI TANO", 5, "FIVE CENTS", "EAST AFRICA" "EAST AFRICA", "5", date 1964 central hole
[14][15] 10 cents KM 40 "SENTI KUNI", 10, "TEN CENTS", "EAST AFRICA" "EAST AFRICA", "10", date 1964
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Krause, Chester L., and Clifford Mishler (2003). 2004 Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1901–Present. Colin R. Bruce II (senior editor) (31st ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873495934. 

Banknotes[edit]

In 1921, notes were issued by the East African Currency Board in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 100, 200, 1,000 and 10,000 shillings, with the notes of 20 shillings and above also carrying the denominations given in pounds Sterling (£1, £5, £10, £50 and £500). In 1943, 1 shilling notes were issued, the only occasion that such notes were produced. 1,000 shilling notes were only issued until 1933, with 10,000 shillings notes last issued in 1947. The remaining denominations were issued until 1964.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Global Financial Data currency histories table". Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Kenya". Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  3. ^ a b c Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Tanzania". Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  4. ^ a b Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Uganda". Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  5. ^ Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Asia". Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  6. ^ Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Somalia". Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  7. ^ Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Ethiopia". Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  8. ^ Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Eritrea". Retrieved 2007-04-29. 

The last issued 10,000 shilling note was dated 1st, August 1951 but the high denomination note was used for clearing internally for many years after 1951.

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Indian rupee, Maria Theresa Thaler and other foreign currencies
Ratio: 1 shilling = 1 British shilling
Currency of Colony of Aden
1951 – 1963
Currency of Federation of South Arabia
1963 – 1965
Succeeded by:
South Yemeni dinar
Ratio: 1 dinar = 20 shillings = 1 British pound
Currency of Aden Protectorate
1951 – 1959
Currency of Federation of Arab Emirates of the South
1959 – 1963
Currency of remainder of Aden Protectorate
1959 – 1963
Note: throughout this time period, various states within the protectorate joined the federation
Currency of Protectorate of South Arabia
1963 – 1965
Preceded by:
Zanzibari rupee
Ratio: 1.5 East African shillings = 1 Zanzibari rupee = 1 Indian rupee = 1.5 British shilling
Currency of Zanzibar
January 1, 1936 – 1964
Currency of Tanzania
(formerly Tanganyika and Zanzibar)
1964 – 1969
Succeeded by:
Tanzanian shilingi
Reason: currency independence
Ratio: at par
Note: independent shilling introduced in 1966, but EA shilling not demonetized until 1969
Preceded by:
East African florin
Ratio: 2 shillings = 1 florin = 2 British shilling
Currency of East Africa
(Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda)
1921 – various dates of independence
Currency of Kenya
1963 – 1969
Succeeded by:
Kenyan shilling
Reason: currency independence
Ratio: at par
Note: independent shilling introduced in 1966, but EA shilling not demonetized until 1969
Currency of Uganda
1962 – 1969
Succeeded by:
First Ugandan shilling
Reason: currency independence
Ratio: at par
Note: independent shilling introduced in 1966, but EA shilling not demonetized until 1969
Preceded by:
Italian East African lira
Reason: United Kingdom recaptured British Somaliland from Italy, and also occupied Italian East Africa
Ratio: 1 shilling = 24 lira = 1 British shilling
Currency of British Somaliland
1941 – 1962
Succeeded by:
Somali shilling
Reason: independence as part of Somalia
Ratio: at par
Currency of Italian Somaliland
1941 – 1950
Succeeded by:
Italian Somaliland somalo
Reason: return to Italy (in 1949)
Ratio: at par
Currency of Ethiopia
1941 – 1945
Succeeded by:
Ethiopian birr
Reason: (Ethiopia) independence
(Eritrea) federation with Ethiopia

Ratio: 1 birr = 2 shillings
Currency of Eritrea
1941 – 1952