What is the Central African CFA Franc?

04 Aug 2022 - Category: Blog /

The Central African CFA Franc is a shared currency used by six independent states in Central Africa. The currency links together countries which were once under the rule of France, and the currency was traditionally pegged to the French franc, though this has changed since the introduction of the Euro.

Here we’re going to look more closely at the Central African CFA Franc as well as explore its history and exchange rates useful for visitors to countries using this currency. There are also large numbers of immigrants from the six countries using this currency living abroad, so we’ll explore money transfer services too. Below you’ll learn:

Which countries use the Central African CFA Franc?

The Central African CFA franc is the national currency for six Central African states. They are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo. With a combined population of over 55 million and people from these nations living all over the world, it’s important to fully recognise and understand their currency for easy money transfers and exchange.

The appearance and symbol of the Central African CFA Franc

The Central African CFA Franc differentiates from the West African CFA Franc, used in a number of West African countries. It is known by the monetary code XAF, and the notes and coins differ from nation to nation, though they can be used in any state.

Central African CFA francs are split into centimes, and there are 100 centimes in 1 franc. The banknotes currently in circulation are in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 franc denominations. Coins are in 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 franc denominations. There are no centime denominations in this currency.

CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique centrale, and all Central African CFA franc currency is issued by the Bank of Central African States in Cameroon.

The History of the Central African CFA Franc

The CFA franc was introduced to Africa’s French colonies in 1945. It replaced the French Equatorial African franc. Once the colonies gained independence, they kept the currency. Initially, this currency was used in the nations of Chad, French Cameroun, French Congo, Gabon and Ubangi-Shari. The names and borders of countries have changed over time to the one we recognise above, and in 1984, these nations were joined by a former Spanish colony, Equatorial Guinea.

The Central African CFA Franc was historically linked to the French franc. This changed with the introduction of the Euro. Since 1999, the currency has been pegged to the Euro at a set exchange rate.

The cultures and economies of the Central African CFA franc countries are varied and diverse. People from all these nations rightly travel the world and set up home in other countries, with plans to send money home to their families. Transferring British pounds, US dollars or other currencies to Central African CFA francs is a straightforward process.

Exchange rates

Getting the best exchange rate is essential for ensuring your money goes as far as possible, whether you are sending money to your parents in Cameroon or other family members in Chad or a business partner in the Republic of the Congo. Improving your understanding of exchange rates can also help you decide where to travel on your next adventure.

The first place to look when considering exchange rates for the Central African CFA franc is its set rate against the Euro. Since 1999, the Central African CFA franc has been pegged to the Euro at 1 EUR = 655.957 XAF.

It is also valuable to know how the currency compares for exchange with leading currencies such as the British Pound and US Dollar. In 2022, the average exchange rate of the US Dollar to the Central African CFA franc was 1 USD to 642.79 XAF. For the British Pound, the exchange rate was 1GBP to 784.73 XAF.

Understanding these key exchange rates is useful for anyone looking to travel to or send money to Central Africa. You can also gain some understanding of the economic stability in the countries through this method.

How to send money to countries using the Central African CFA Franc

Understanding the history and current use of the Central African CFA Franc provides a little more confidence for anyone looking to use money transfer services for any purpose. You may need to send money back to family or friends, or you may have a business connection in Central Africa. In all instances, we can help make money transfers safe and efficient.

With millions of customers worldwide, including plenty transferring their money to Central Africa, you are safe with us. If you need to support your family in any of the Central African CFA franc states, we’re here to help.

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