The Central African CFA franc is the official currency of six states in Central Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It was established in 1945, replacing the French Equatorial African franc. The CFA stands means “Coopération financière en Afrique centrale” (Financial Cooperation in Central Africa), and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC; Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale) is the official issuing institution. The first CFA francs notes issued were in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 francs in 1947. After a period between name changes in institutions and issues, the bank name was established to Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale in 1975. Each state began to issue notes in their names in denominations of 500, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 francs until 1993, when banknotes started to have been issued with an only letter assigned to each state to distinguish the different issues by country; A – Gabon, C – Chad, F – Equatorial Guinea, M – Central African Republic, T – Congo and U – Cameroon.
The 500 Central African CFA franc note front design features a school scene with four students in front of a blackboard learning the alphabet, a child in a side position, the denomination and each state assigned letter. The reverse note side illustrates a village scene with a woman at the center wearing traditional African clothing and the denomination. This note is part of the 2002 series and its color brown, light gray and multicolor underprint.
Text: Banque Des États De L’afrique Centrale, Les auteurs ou complices de falsification ou de contrefaçon de billets de banque seront punis conformement aux lois en et actes en vigueur, Le Gouverneur, In Censeur, Cinq Cents Francs, 500, 2002.