CEMAC: Chiaroscuro on the circulation of new banknotes by the BEAC

Conflicting information is circulating about the introduction into the CEMAC zone of new denominations and new silver coins. In addition to the usual denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 FCFA, the monetary issuing institution in the sub-region should also market denominations of 2,500 and 25,000 FCFA.

What is really happening with regard to the placing on the money market of the sub-region, of new denominations of banknotes? For some time now, the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has been at the center of the news, with some believing that the current “deadlock” is linked to political reasons with the more or less stated intention of the countries of Africa. Africa to leave the Franc Zone. A choice far from satisfying France, which would go all out for the status quo.

Thus, beyond the new expected banknotes, the Central Bank in addition to the 25, 50, 100 and 500 CFA coins likely to be renewed, should also innovate with the appearance of a 250 CFA coin, while circulation, 5 and 10 FCFA coins, of which “one can wonder about the monetary value in view of the current economic context”. In the absence of an official communication from the sub-regional monetary authority, it is difficult for the moment to know where we are with the project, if as long as “the Central Bank will provide the necessary and useful details when the circumstances l ‘will require’,.

Admittedly, the Ministerial Committee of the Central African Monetary Union (UMAC), meeting respectively on July 4, 2019 in Douala and October 2, 2019 at the headquarters of the Central Bank in Yaoundé to work, among other things, on the economic and financial situation. of CEMAC member states, development prospects, the situation of foreign exchange reserves and the repatriation of currencies had also confirmed the injection of new banknotes and new coins to meet market demand. But no date had been put forward.

At most, in resolution number seven, it was mentioned that “the Ministerial Committee of UMAC took note of the launch of the design work for a new range of BEAC banknotes” as well as ” Now and already committed the government of the Bank to finalize the work necessary for the creation and gradual release of this new range, as soon as possible ”.

If it is true that no timetable had been decided, reports sources familiar with the matter, everything suggests that the six countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) that are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad should already be supplied with new banknotes and new silver coins to replace the denominations officially put into circulation since November 24, 2003.

Until now, changes in the range of banknotes at the BEAC have taken place every 10 years, more precisely 1972, 1982, 1992 although the 2002 vintage has known a slippage until 2003. For almost 20 years, these denominations have been in circulation. , and could in all likelihood be replaced as early as next year with “very probably the entry into circulation of new banknotes and coins in 2022”.

Everything suggests that the first annual session of the Monetary Policy Committee (CPM) of the BEAC scheduled for March 2021 could provide necessary details on this news which is swelling and which for many, suggests that the “envisaged” exit from the Franc Zone by Central African countries using the CFA Franc (XAF) is just a lure. According to reliable information, an agreement has already been reached between the BEAC and the French printer Charles Oberthur, “an old acquaintance” of the matter.


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