West African CFA franc
|West African CFA franc|
|franc CFA BCEAO (French)|
|ISO 4217 code||XOF|
|Central bank||Central Bank of West African States|
|Pegged with||euro = CFA 655.957|
|Coins||1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 250, 500 francs|
|Banknotes||500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 francs|
The West African CFA franc (French: franc CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code: XOF) is the currency of eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. 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 Côte d'Ivoire, 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.
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 added. From 1959, coins have been issued by the BCEAO. Nickel 100-franc coins were introduced in 1967, followed by the cupro-nickel 50-franc coins in 1972. Small, steel 1-franc coins were introduced in 1976 (struck until 1995), followed by bimetallic 250 francs in 1992 (struck until 1996). In 2003, bimetallic 200- and 500-franc coins were introduced.
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 (1). 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.
|Banknotes of the West African CFA franc (1991-1992 issue)|
|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)|
|1000 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)|
|2500 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)|
|5000 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|
|Banknotes of the West African CFA franc (2003 issue)|
|500 francs CFA||A wooden carved mask; 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||A wooden carved mask; symbols of education and health||Camels|
|2000 francs CFA||A wooden carved mask; transportation||Fish|
|5000 francs CFA||A wooden carved mask; agriculture||Antelopes (Kobus kob kob)|
|10,000 francs CFA||A wooden carved mask; telecommunication||Birds (Tauroco macrorhynchus)|
Future proposals 
The English-speaking states of Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, along with the French-speaking state of Guinea, have formed the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) and aim to introduce a common currency, the Eco, on 1 January 2015, with the ultimate goal of uniting the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the WAMZ to form a single West African monetary zone.
|Current XOF exchange rates|
|From Google Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD|
|From Yahoo! Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD|
|From XE.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD|
|From OANDA.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD|
|From fxtop.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD|
See also 
- Economy of Benin
- Economy of Burkina Faso
- Economy of Côte d'Ivoire
- Economy of Guinea-Bissau
- Economy of Mali
- Economy of Niger
- Economy of Senegal
- Economy of Togo
- 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
- "Présentation" (in French). Central Bank of West African States. Retrieved July 14, 2012. (French)
- "The Many Varieties of West African States Banknotes". Home.earthlink.net. 1959-04-04. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
-  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 30.11.2012 BanknoteNews.com. November 7, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.
- Krause, Chester L., and 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.
- (French) Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) (Official Site of the West African Economic and Monetary Union)
- West African CFA franc Banknotes
- "The Many Varieties of West African States Banknotes" by Weldon D. Burson