Ruanda-Urundi franc

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The Ruanda-Urundi franc was a currency issued for the Belgian mandate territory of Ruanda-Urundi (modern-day Rwanda and Burundi) in East Africa between 1960 and 1964. The currency replaced the Belgian Congo franc which had also circulated in Ruanda-Urundi from 1916 until 1960 when the Belgian Congo became independent, leaving Ruanda-Urundi as the sole Belgian colonial possession in Africa. With the independence of Rwanda and Burundi in 1962, the shared Ruanda-Urundi franc continued to circulate until 1964 when it was eventually replaced by two separate national currencies.


The franc became the currency of Rwanda and Burundi in 1916, when the two countries were occupied by Belgium and the Belgian Congo franc replaced the German East African rupie. In 1960, the Belgian Congo franc was replaced by the Ruanda-Urundi franc, issued by the Banque d’Emission du Rwanda et du Burundi (Issuing Bank of Rwanda and Burundi) or BERB. This circulated after independence until January 1964,[1] when Rwanda and Burundi introduced their own currencies, the Burundian franc and the Rwandan franc.[2]


A single denomination was issued, the 1 franc, between 1960 and 1964.


From 1960 to 1963, the BERB issued notes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 francs.[3] In 1964, Burundi overprinted all of these denominations for use in Burundi, whilst Rwanda overprinted all but the 5 and 10 franc notes for use in Rwanda.


  1. ^ Randall Baker, "Reorientation in Rwanda," African Affairs, Vol. 69, No. 275 (Apr., 1970), pp. 141–154. See p. 148.
  2. ^ Abdel-Salam, Osman Hashim (1970). "The Evolution of African Monetary Institutions". The Journal of Modern African Studies 8 (3): 339–362. doi:10.1017/S0022278X00019893. . See p. 356.
  3. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Rwanda and Burundi". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: