|franc congolais (French)|
|Code||CDF (numeric: 976)|
|Banknotes||1, 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 francs|
|User(s)|| Democratic Republic of the Congo|
First Congolese Republic
Congo Free State
|Central bank||Central Bank of the Congo|
|Source||, 2022* est.|
The Congolese franc (French: franc congolais, code FC) is the currency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is subdivided into 100 centimes. However, centimes no longer have a practical value and are no longer used. In April 2022, 2,000 francs was equivalent to US$1.
First franc (1887–1967)
Currency denominated in centimes and francs (Dutch: Congolese frank) was first introduced in 1887 for use in the Congo Free State (1885–1908). After the Free State's annexation by Belgium, the currency continued in the Belgian Congo. The francs were equal in value to the Belgian franc. From 1916, the Congolese franc also circulated in Ruanda-Urundi (present day Rwanda and Burundi) and, from 1952, the currency was issued jointly in the names of the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. After the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960, Ruanda-Urundi adopted its own franc, whilst, between 1960 and 1963, Katanga also issued a franc of its own.
A currency based on the gold standard was created for the Congo Free State in 1887. Banknotes were issued from 1896 in the name of the General Treasury of the Congo Free State (Trésoire générale de l'État indépendant du Congo) payable to the bearer, until the annexation of the Free State in 1908.
As a result of the confused legal definition under Article 11 of the 1908 Colonial Charter, it has been argued that that the Congolese franc did not exist de jure as a currency between 1908 and 1960 and was instead merely a token representing a claim on Belgian francs. It did exist, however, as the sole de facto currency in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi.
A decree in 1911 authorised the private Bank of the Belgian Congo (Banque du Congo Belge, BCB) to issue banknotes for the Belgian Congo payable to the bearer. They could be converted into the gold or silver currency of the Latin Union or into foreign currencies at the prevailing gold exchange rate. Convertability was suspended during World War I and was only restored in 1927. Although the Congolese franc had appreciated during the conflict, it was restored to parity with the Belgian franc in 1919. Parity was again broken during World War II. After the conflict, the Congolese and Belgian francs continued to form part of the "Belgian monetary zone" under the Bretton Woods system. A central bank was created in 1951 entitled the Central Bank of the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi (Banque Centrale du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, BCCBRU) which subsequently issued both coins and banknotes and dealt with foreign exchange controls and was partially supported by the National Bank of Belgium.
The franc remained Congo's currency after independence in 1960 until 1967, when the zaire was introduced, at a rate of 1 zaïre = 1,000 francs.
In 1887, holed, copper coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 centimes, together with silver coins worth 50 centimes, and 1, 2, and 5 francs. Coins ceased to be minted in silver in 1896. Holed, cupro-nickel 5, 10 and 20 centime coins were introduced in 1906, with the remaining copper coins (worth 1 and 2 centimes) minted until 1919. Cupro-nickel 50 centime and 1 franc coins were introduced in 1921 and 1920, respectively.
The coinage of Belgian Congo ceased in 1929, only to be resumed in 1936 and 1937 for the issue of nickel-bronze 5 franc coins. In 1943, hexagonal, brass 2 franc coins were introduced, followed by round, brass coins worth 1, 2 and 5 francs, and silver 50 franc coins, between 1944 and 1947.
In 1952, brass 5-franc coins were issued carrying the name "Ruanda-Urundi" for the first time.
Aluminum coins worth 50 centimes, 1 and 5 francs followed between 1954 and 1957. In 1965, the only franc-denominated coins of the first Democratic Republic of Congo were issued, aluminum coins worth 10 francs.
In 1896 the Congo Free State issued 10 and 100 franc notes. In 1912, the Bank of Belgian Congo introduced 20 and 1000 francs, followed by notes of 1, 5 and 100 franc notes in 1914. The 1-franc notes were only printed until 1920, whilst 10 franc notes were introduced in 1937. 500 francs were introduced in the 1940s, with 10,000 francs introduced in 1942.
In 1952, the Central Bank of Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi introduced notes for 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 francs, with 500 and 1000 francs added in 1953.
In 1961, the National Bank of Congo introduced notes for 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 francs, some of which were issued until 1964. In 1962, the Monetary Council of the Republic of Congo introduced 1000 franc notes, which were notes of the Central Bank of Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi overprinted with the Monetary Council's name. In 1963, the Monetary Council issued regular type 100 and 5000 franc notes.
Second franc (1997–present)
The franc was re-established in 1997, replacing the new zaïre at a rate of 1 franc = 100,000 new zaïres. This was equivalent to 300 trillion old francs.
Coins were never issued as even fractional units of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes were issued in banknote form only.
On 30 June 1998, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 francs, though all are dated 01.11.1997. 200-franc notes were introduced in 2000, followed by 500-franc notes in 2002. As of July 2018, the only negotiable instrument in circulation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are banknotes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 francs. Meanwhile, merchants in Kinshasa were skeptical about the 5,000-franc note due either to counterfeiting of this denomination, or else an irregular or unauthorised issue of the genuine note, bearing the serial number suffix C. Although the banknote is accepted in most of the country, it is no longer in circulation in Kinshasa.
The smallest note in use is 50 francs.
|Banknotes of the Congolese franc (01.11.1997 issue)|
|||1 centime||Deep olive-green, violet and dark brown||Coffee harvest||Nyiragongo volcano||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||5 centimes||Purple||Suku mask||Zande harp||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||10 centimes||Red-violet and dark-brown||Pende mask||Pende dancers||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||20 centimes||Blue-green and black||Antelope||Upemba National Park||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||50 centimes||Dark brown and brown||Okapi||Okapis at Epulu Okapi Reserve||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||1 franc||Deep purple and blue-violet||Gécamines' copper smelting complex||Patrice Lumumba with his comrades after his capture||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||5 francs||Purple and black||Rhinoceros, Garamba National Park||Kamwanga falls||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||10 francs||Red-violet||Luba carving "Tête-à-Tête"||Luba carving||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||20 francs||Brown-orange and red-orange||Lion, Kundelongu Park||Lioness with her cubs, Kundelongu Park||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||50 francs||Blue-Purple||Tshokwe mask "Mwana Pwo"||Fishermen's village along the Congo River||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||100 francs||Red||Elephant, Virunga National Park||"Inga II" hydroelectric dam||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|Banknotes of the Congolese franc (04.01.2000 issue)|
|50 francs||Lilac-brown||Tshokwe mask "Mwana Pwo"||Fishermen's village along the Congo River||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|100 francs||Slate blue||Elephant, Virunga National Park||"Inga II" hydroelectric dam||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|Banknotes of the Congolese franc (30.06.2000 & 04.01.2002 (2003) issues)|
|||200 francs||Lilac and olive-green||Fieldwork||Drummers||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|||500 francs||Blue||Diamond exploitation||Diamond exploitation, Etroite Valley||Single Okapi head or multiple Okapi heads repeated vertically|
|Banknotes of the Congolese franc (02.02.2005 & 18.02.2006 (2012) issues)|
|||1000 francs||Green||Okapi, Kanioka box||Grey parrot; yellow corn||Okapi and electrotype 1000|
|||5000 francs||Brown||Zebras; Hemba statuette||Bowl; bundles of maniok; two helmeted guineafowl||Okapi and electrotype 5000|
|||10,000 francs||Violet||Two wildebeest; carved statuette||Bird on a branch; banana trees||Okapi and electrotype 10,000|
|||20,000 francs||Yellow||Giraffes; carved head "Bashilele"||Palm trees; date clusters; two grey crowned cranes (Balearica regulorum)||Leopard head and electrotype 20,000|
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- Boehme 2007, p. 14.
- Boehme 2007, pp. 14–5.
- Boehme 2007, p. 22.
- Boehme 2007, pp. 15.
- Boehme 2007, p. 16.
- Boehme 2007, pp. 19–20.
- http://i.colnect.com/images/items/full/803/109803.jpg[permanent dead link]
- Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Congo (Democratic Republic)". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com.
- Congo Democratic Republic new 1,000-, 5,000-, and 10,000-franc notes reported Archived 2013-07-02 at the Wayback Machine BanknoteNews.com. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- Congo Democratic Republic new 5,000-franc note confirmed BanknoteNews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Congo Democratic Republic new 1,000-franc note confirmed BanknoteNews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Congo Democratic Republic new 10,000-franc note confirmed BanknoteNews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Congo Democratic Republic new 20,000-franc note reported BanknoteNews.com. November 7, 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-10.
- Boehme, O. (2007). "Monetary Affairs in the Heart of Africa. The National Bank of Belgium and Finance in Congo, 1945-1974". Journal of European Economic History (1): 13–45.
- 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.