The Caisse Centrale de la France Libre was established on December 2, 1941 to issue banknotes in France's colonies, none of which had been captured by the Germans. The Caisse Centrale became the financial arm of Free France and supplied the Commmittee of Free France with the funds to carry on the war. The Caisse Centrale de la France d'Outre-Mer was created on February 2, 1944 to issue banknotes for France's colonies, which were originally referred to as the Colonies Francaises d'Afrique (CFA), renamed the Communaute Financiere Africaine in 1959 and the Cooperation Financiere Africaine in 1962. The CFA Franc is a separate currency from the Metropolitan Franc. The CFA Franc has generally had a different value from the French Franc since World War II.
The currency histories of individual countries should be consulted for more detailed information, but this section is provided to try and reduce the confusion created by the different variations on the CFA Franc that have been created.
The CFA included six banks of issue for different parts of Metropolitan France. Only the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale and the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest still issue banknotes. See individual countries for currency histories.
1. The Caisse Centrale de la Outre-Mer issued banknotes for most of overseas France (XCFG) during World War II, but after 1960 it only issued banknotes for St. Pierre et Miquelon, and this issue was discontinued in 1972.
2. The Institut d'Emission des Departements d'Outre-Mer was established on January 7, 1959 to issue banknotes for French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Martinique in Metropolitan Francs, and for Reunion in CFA Francs. When France introduced the Franc Nouveau, the departements (XDF) using the CFA Franc adjusted their currency at the rate of 100 to 1 in 1960 while the overseas territories (XTF) using the CFA Franc adjusted their currency at the rate of 50 to 1 in 1967. The Institut ceased to issue banknotes in 1975.
3. The Banque de Madagascar et des Comores issued CFA Franc banknotes (XMCF) for the Comoro Archipelago and for Madagascar from 1950 to April 1, 1962.
4. The Institut d'Emission Malgache succeeded the Banque de Madagascar et des Comores and became the note issuing authority for Madagascar beginning on April 1, 1962 after the Comores began issuing their own banknotes. It was closed when Madagascar gained its independence.
5. The Institut d'Emission de l'Afrique Equatoriale Francaise et du Cameroon, succeeded the Caisse Centrale de la France d'Outre-Mer on September 30, 1955 as the note-issuing authority for French Equatorial Africa and Cameroon (XACF). In 1959, the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique Equatoriale et du Cameroun (BCEAEC) began issuing CFA banknotes for the Equatorial African States (XEF). On April 1, 1973, the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (BEAC) succeeded the BCEAEC, issuing the CFA Franc BEAC (XAF).
6. The Banque de l'Afrique Occidentale issued banknotes (XAOF) for both French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa. The Institut d'Emission de l'Afrique Occidentale Francaise et du Togo issued the CFA West African Franc (XCOF) between December 1941 and December 1958. The Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO) replaced the Insitutut d'Emission de l'Afrique Occidentale Francaise et du Togo on May 12, 1962, and currently issues the West African Franc (XOF).