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The pound was the currency of British West Africa, a group of British colonies, protectorates and mandate territories. It was equal to one pound sterling and was similarly subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.
In the 19th century, the sterling became the currency of the British West African territories and standard issue British coinage circulated. The West African territories in question were Nigeria, the Gold Coast (now Ghana), Sierra Leone and the Gambia.
In 1912,the authorities in London set up the West African Currency Board and issued a distinctive set of sterling coinage for use in British West Africa. The circumstance prompting this move was a tendency for standard sterling coins shipped to the West African territories to leave the region and return to circulation in the UK, causing a local dearth of coinage. A unique British West African variety of sterling coinage would not be accepted in the shops of Britain and so would remain in circulation locally.
There was a precedent for this move: in 1910, Australia had already commenced issuing its own distinctive varieties of sterling coinage, but the reasons for doing so were quite different from those relating to British West Africa. Australian authorities issued local coinage as a step towards introducing a separate currency with a flexible exchange rate against sterling, while no such plan was considered for British West Africa. With the exception of Jamaica where special low denomination coins were issued in place of the British copper coins, due to local superstitions surrounding the use of copper coinage for church collections, authorities in London did not replace any sterling coins with local issues for any other British colony.
The British West African pound was also adopted by Liberia in 1907, replacing the Liberian dollar, although it was not served by the West African Currency Board. Liberia changed to the US dollar in 1943. Togo and Cameroon adopted the West African currency in 1914 and 1916 respectively when British and French troops took over those colonies from Germany as part of World War I.
Beginning in 1958, the British West African pound was replaced by local currencies in the individual territories. The replacements were:
From BWA pound
|Western Nigeria||1958||Nigerian pound||1|
|British Cameroon||1961||CFA franc||700|
In 1907, aluminium 1⁄10d and cupro-nickel 1d coins were introduced. Both coins were holed. In 1908, cupro-nickel replaced aluminium in the 1⁄10d and, in 1911, holed, cupro-nickel ½d coins were introduced. In 1913, silver 3d and 6d, 1/– and 2/– were introduced. In 1920, brass replaced silver in these denominations.
In 1938, larger, cupro-nickel 3d coins were introduced, with nickel-brass replacing brass in the higher denominations. In 1952, bronze replaced cupro-nickel in the 1⁄10d, ½d and 1d coins. The last coins of British West Africa were struck in 1958.
In 1916, the West African Currency Board introduced notes for 2/–, 10/–, and 20/– (£1), followed by 1/– notes in 1918. Only the 10/– and 20/– notes were issued after 1918 until 100/– (£5) notes were introduced in 1953. The last notes were produced in 1962.
The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the currency of all seven full members and one associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The successor to the British West Indies dollar, it has existed since 1965, and it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $ or, alternatively, EC$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The EC$ is subdivided into 100 cents. It has been pegged to the United States dollar since 7 July 1976, at the exchange rate of US$1 = EC$2.70.
The Belize dollar is the official currency in Belize. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively BZ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies.
The Sri Lankan Rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka. It is subdivided into 100 cents, but cents are rarely seen in circulation due to its low value. It is issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The symbol ₨. is generally used, but the currency code "LKR" is occasionally used to distinguish it from other currencies also called rupee.
The pula is the currency of Botswana. It has the ISO 4217 code BWP and is subdivided into 100 thebe. Pula literally means "rain" in Setswana, because rain is very scarce in Botswana—home to much of the Kalahari Desert—and therefore valuable and a blessing. The word also serves as the national motto of the country.
The British West Indies dollar (BWI$) was the currency of British Guiana and the Eastern Caribbean territories of the British West Indies from 1949 to 1965, when it was largely replaced by the East Caribbean dollar, and was one of the currencies used in Jamaica from 1954 to 1964. The monetary policy of the currency was overseen by the British Caribbean Currency Board (BCCB). It was the official currency used by the West Indies Federation The British West Indies dollar was never used in British Honduras, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas, or Bermuda.
The leone is the currency of Sierra Leone. It is subdivided into 100 cents, but denominations in cents are no longer in use due to the low value of the currency. The ISO 4217 code is SLL and the leone is abbreviated as Le placed before the amount.
The sol, later sol de oro, was the currency of Peru between 1863 and 1985. It had the ISO 4217 currency code PES. It was subdivided into 10 dineros or 100 centavos.
The shilling is the currency of Uganda. Officially divided into cents until 2013, due to substantial inflation the shilling now has no subdivision.
The Egyptian pound is the currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 piastres, or ersh, or 1,000 milliemes.
The shilling is the currency of Tanzania. It is subdivided into 100 cents . The Tanzanian shilling replaced the East African shilling on 14 June 1966 at par.
The Trinidad and Tobago dollar is the currency of Trinidad and Tobago. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively TT$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is subdivided into 100 cents. Cents are abbreviated with the cent sign ¢, or TT¢ to distinguish from other currencies that use cents. Its predecessor currencies are the Trinidadian dollar and the Tobagonian dollar.
The Guyanese dollar has been the unit of account in Guyana since 29 January 1839. Originally it was intended as a transitional unit to facilitate the changeover from the Dutch guilder system of currency to the British pound sterling system. The Spanish dollar was already prevalent throughout the West Indies in general, and from 1839, the Spanish dollar unit operated in British Guiana in conjunction with British sterling coins at a standard conversion rate of one dollar for every four shillings and twopence. In 1951 the British sterling coinage was replaced with a new decimal coinage which was simultaneously introduced through all the British territories in the Eastern Caribbean. When sterling began to depreciate in the early 1970s, a switch to a US dollar peg became increasingly attractive as an anti-inflationary measure and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority made the switch in October 1975. The Guyanese dollar is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively G$ to distinguish it from other dollar-dominated currencies.
The dollar has been the currency of Liberia since 1943. It was also the country's currency between 1847 and 1907. It is normally abbreviated with the sign $, or alternatively L$ or LD$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.
The pound is the currency of the Atlantic islands of Saint Helena and Ascension, which are constituent parts of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It is fixed at parity with sterling, and so both currencies are commonly accepted and circulated within Saint Helena. It is subdivided into 100 pence.
The Rupie was the currency of German East Africa between 1890 and 1916, continuing to circulate in the Tanganyika Territory until 1920.
The pound was the currency of Nigeria between 1907 and 1973. Until 1958, Nigeria used the British West African pound, after which it issued its own currency. The pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. The Nigerian pound was replaced with the introduction in 1973 of the decimal naira at a rate of £1 = ₦2. This made Nigeria the last country to abandon the £sd currency system.
The pound was the currency of the Gambia between 1965 and 1971. Gambia used the British West African pound until it issued its own currency on October 5, 1964. In 1971, the dalasi replaced the pound at a rate of £1 = D5. 1 pound was made up of 20 shillings, each shilling consisting of 12 pence.
The pound was the currency of the Union of South Africa from the formation of the country as a British Dominion in 1910. It was replaced by the rand in 1961 when South Africa decimalised.
The pound was the currency of Southern Rhodesia. It also circulated in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.
The pound was the currency of Fiji between 1873 and 1969. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.