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Currency in Djeneba's Country, Mali

Hi and welcome back to our blog.

This week’s post is about Mali’s currency the West African franc. Read more below.


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Money, which is a current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes, is widely regarded as a "medium of economic exchange" all over the world. The concept of paper money came from the Chinese which traveled to different parts of Southeast Asia, spreading across territories. Money now varies in different countries whether it is based on color, currency, shape, or size. In Mali, they use a currency called the West African franc, also known as the CFA. This currency is used in several African countries. CFA stands for Communauté Financière Africaine (African Financial Community).

The franc is worth much less than the U.S dollar. A single franc is 0.0018 of a dollar. That means you would need about 552 francs to equal one dollar. The West African CFA franc has coins and banknotes. The banknotes are subdivided into 100 centimes, a monetary unit in France. Mali also uses coins. The least value coin they have is 1 franc and the highest is 500 francs.

The West African CFA franc was introduced by the French colonies. Many of the African territories like Niger, Ivory Coast, Togo used this currency and continue to use the currency even after gaining independence from the French, Mali was the exception. Mali which was formerly known as the French Sudan ended up replacing the CFA franc with their own franc in 1961. Unfortunately their native franc “declined in value” and Mali was then forced to re-adopt the CFA franc. Today, the currency is issued by the Central Bank of West African States located in Senegal.

A small donation of $20 is equivalent to 11,000 francs. This goes a long way in helping children like Djeneba gain access to education, receive adequate nutrition, and achieve their dreams.


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