What is the Currency of Djibouti?

By Joseph Kiprop on August 1 2017 in Economics

Djiboutian franc bills.

The Djibouti Franc is the official currency in Djibouti and is identified in international money markets by its ISO 4217 code DJF. It is abbreviated by the symbol Fdj. The Djibouti Franc is made up of subunits known as "centimes" where 1000 centimes are equivalent to 1 Djibouti Franc. Djibouti introduced the currency in the early 20th century and replaced the Maria Theresa Thaler, the French Franc, and the Indian Rupee, all of which were previously in circulation in the country. However, the currency was first issued under independent Djibouti in 1949, and it was pegged to US Dollar at the rate of 1 US Dollar: 214.392 Djibouti Francs. The Djibouti Franc is pegged to the US Dollar at the rate of 177.721 Djibouti francs: 1 US Dollar. The Central Bank of Djibouti was established on April 18th, 1979 and is mandated by law to regulate the inflation of the currency and is also mandated in the issuance domestically of the Djibouti Franc.

Historic Currencies

Before the adoption of the Djibouti Franc, there were two major currencies in circulation in the country. The French Franc was introduced as the country’s official currency in 1884 after Djibouti was established as part of French Somaliland, a French colony. The French Franc was minted in France and shipped to the colony where it was issued by major banks in the colony. The currency was issued in coinage as well as in banknotes. The French Franc coinage featured silver, copper and gold coins which bore the likeness of French Revolution leader Napoleon on the coin’s obverse. The Indian Rupee was another currency in circulation in Djibouti in the late 18th century and 19th century. The Indian Rupee was predominantly used in the coastal region of Djibouti as it was commonly used in international maritime trade. The Maria Theresa Thaler was another common currency in circulation during this period. The Maria Theresa Thaler the official currency in numerous countries in Europe entered into the Djibouti economy through neighboring Ethiopia which used the Maria Theresa Thaler as the official currency for over a century. The French Franc, the Indian Rupee, and the Maria Theresa Thaler were traded against each other at the rate of 1 Maria Theresa Thaler: 4.2 French Franc or 1 Indian Rupee: 2 French Francs. The three currencies were replaced by the Djibouti Franc in the early 20th century.

Coinage and Banknotes

The Djibouti Franc is issued by the Central Bank of Djibouti in coinage as well as banknotes. Due to high inflation, the centimes are not issued in any form while the francs are issued in large denominations with the highest denomination being the 10,000 Djibouti Franc banknote while the lowest being the 1 Djibouti Franc coin. The commonly used coins are issued in 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 250, and 500 Fdj denominations. The 1, 2, and 5 Fdj coins are made of aluminum while the 10, 20, and 500 Fdj coins are made of aluminum-bronze. The 100 and 50 Fdj coins are made of cupro-nickel. The commonly used banknotes are printed in 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 denominations.

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