What is Rwanda Franc

The Rwanda Franc is the currency of Rwanda, abbreviated as RWF. The Rwandan franc is the legal tender of Rwanda and uses both coins and banknotes. Each franc is broken into santimes with denominations of 5000, 1000, 500, and 100 in banknotes and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 in coins. The currency is regulated by the Banque Nationale du Rwanda, which is the Rwandan central bank.


The Rwanda franc became the official currency in 1964. Previously, Rwanda and Burundi shared a currency name the Rwanda and Burundi Franc from 1960 to 1963. The Belgian Congo franc and the German East African rupie were both used previous to 1960, as both Belgium and Germany at one time had held Rwanda as a colony.

History of Rwanda Franc Banknotes

The original Rwanda Franc banknotes were created in 1964 for use in Rwanda by hand-stamping (20 to 100 francs) or embossing (500 and 1,000 francs) Rwanda-Burundi notes bearing their original dates and signatures. These were followed by regular issues for the same amounts, dated 1964 to 1976.

In 1977, 20- and 50-franc notes were replaced by coins, and 5,000-franc notes introduced in 1978. The nation's first-ever 2,000-franc note was introduced in mid-December 2007. In 2008, the bank replaced the 100-franc note with a bimetallic coin, and revoked the notes’ status as legal tender on 31 December 2009. On September 24, 2013, the National Bank of Rwanda issued a redesigned 500-franc note depicting cows on the front and students with XO computers (from the One Laptop per Child program) on the back.

In December 2014, the National Bank of Rwanda issued 2,000 and 5,000 franc notes with revised security features and the removal of French descriptions on the notes. In October 2015, the National Bank of Rwanda issued a revised 1000 franc note with improved security features and the removal of French descriptions on the notes.

The Economy of Rwanda

  • Rwanda's economy is mostly based on agriculture, with about 70 percent of Rwanda's inhabitants engaged in farming. Major exports of the Rwandan economy are tea and coffee.
  • Despite being land-locked country with a high population and minimal resources and industry, Rwanda has been able to make significant progress in rehabilitating and stabilizing its economy.
  • The Rwandan economic system relies heavily on farm production of small, semi-subsistence, and fragmented farms.
  • By 1994, the typical size of a Rwandan farms was less than 1 hectare. Meanwhile, the country's population density was greater than 450 people per square kilometer.