The 2005 coin was issued to honor (and sell at) the 2005 coin fairs in Basel, Switzerland and Piacenza, Italy.
The coin features a map of Europe highlighting the 25 members of the European Union plus Switzerland one one side, and a map of Africa on the other. British West Africa was a currency union for Britain’s colonies in western Africa, including Nigeria, Gambia, Gold Coast (now Ghana) and Sierra Leone.
A pair of Cowrie shells is on the Equatorial Guinea coin. As a set they display the wide range of items used for money in Africa prior to the introduction of coins and currency.
The Gabon coin shows a piece of Throwing Knife Money. In 2007 five African nations: Cameroons, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic and Gabon, each issued a bi-metallic 4500 Franc coins to commemorate a visit that Pope John Paul II made to their country.
The 1/10 Penny is a 20.5mm copper-nickel coin with a large center hole.
The hole is supposedly to make it easy for natives without pockets to carry coins on a string.
The 1 Kwanzas and 50 Centimos has the denomination on one side and the logo of the National Bank of Angola on the other.
This brass 1 Franc coin of the Belgian Congo (now the Congo Democratic Republic) features a striding elephant.
This unusual coin of Benin is denominated in three different currencies!
One side has the royal crown, name of the monarch in Latin and the denomination spelled out in words in English and Arabic.
The other side features a hexagram similar to the Star of David and the name of the territory.
The reverse of the coins all show a map of Africa and an elephant head.
Because these nations use the common currency of the Central African Monetary Union they issue few coins of their own.
Included are Mathieu Kerekou of Benin, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Mamadou Tandja of Niger and Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo.