Dave Mills

The Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale (BEAC) was created in 1972 to provide monetary policy, including a common banknote series, for the countries of the Union Douanière et Économique de l’Afrique Centrale (UDEAC) which includes the Central African States of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo and Gabon.

The first banknotes to come out of the BEAC were the 1974 issues, a set of four notes (500F, 1000F, 5000F and 10,000F) for each country in the UDEAC. Raymond Vaudiau provided the artwork for the notes, with a unique face design for each country showing typical native people and scenes of each country. The back of each denomination carries a common design.

The higher denominations of these notes are quite rare, and unfortunately I don't have them all to display here.

500F Education

The banknote faces were engraved by different artist for each country: Congo: Herouard; Gabon & Central African Republic: Renaud; Chad: Poilliot; Cameroon: J. Jubert. The common back was engraved by Herouard.

The initial issue from 1974-78 was printed by Banque de France with an intaglio pass over color lithography. Later issues from 1980 onwards were printed by François-Charles Oberthür, purely with lithographic press.

Common Back Design
Students and chemical testing

Chad P2a, 1974
Young woman from Chad and view of Lake Chad and birds

Central African Republic P1, 1974
Jean-B�del Bokassa and view of hydro-electric dam at Boali

Congo P2, 1974
Congo woman and Mangrove trees in the North of the Congo

Gabon P2, 1974
Gabonese woman and logging scene

Cameroon P15b, 1974
Peulh woman and University of Yaound�

Chad P6, 1980
Woman weaving wicker basket, farm crops

 

1000F Transportation

The banknote faces were engraved by different artist for each country: Congo: Poilliot; Gabon, Central African Republic and Chad: Renaud; Cameroon: J. Jubert. The common back was engraved by Herouard.

The initial issue from 1974-78 was printed by Banque de France with an intaglio pass over color lithography. Later issues from 1980 onwards were printed by François-Charles Oberthür, purely with lithographic press.

Common Back Design
Planes, trains and bridge

Cameroon P16a, 1974
Young Peulh sheepherder and tourist camp at Bou Karou

Central African Republic P2, 1974
Bokassa, water buffalos on the savanna, and rhinoceros

Chad P3, 1978
Native woman from Chad and cotton field

Congo P3b, 1974
King Makoko 1st and oil refinery at Pointe Noire

Gabon P3d, 1984
President O. Bongo, ship and Sogara oil refinery at Port Gentil

Central African Republic P10, 1980
Butterfly, waterfall and water buffalo

 

5000F Industry and Energy

The banknote faces were engraved by different artist for each country: Congo: Jubert; Gabon: Unknown; Central African Republic: Combet; Chad: Unknown; Cameroon: Armanelli (F), Marciat (B), Piel (Intag).

The 5000 and 10,000f issues were all printed by Banque de France with an intaglio pass over color lithography.

Common Back Design
Industry and energy

Chad P5b, 1978
Young woman and fabric printing factory at Sarh, Chad

Cameroon P17c, 1974
Amadou Ahidjo and railroad laying machine

Congo P4c, 1978
Native Bateke healer and chutes at Djoue hydro-electric power station

Gabon P4c, 1978
President O. Bongo, oil refinery and pit mining

 

10,000F Farming

The banknote faces were engraved by different artist for each country: Congo: Unknown; Gabon: Combet; Central African Republic: Herouard (F), Combet (B); Chad: Durrens; Cameroon: Betemps.

The 5000 and 10,000f issues were all printed by Banque de France with an intaglio pass over color lithography.

Common Back Design
Tractor plowing

Cameroon P18a, 1974
Amadou Ahidjo and tropical fruits

Congo P5b, 1974
Young Congolese Woman and Parade

Gabon P5a, 1974
President O. Bongo and Manganese mine

  1. Much of the information in this article is from Les Billets Africains de la Zone Franc, by Roger LeClerc and Maurice Kolsky