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The Bank Notes of Katanga

(Peter Symes. 85 pages, B&W illustrations. US$30.00; price includes postage.)

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View some of the bank notes. (This page contains six pictures; being the front and backs of three Katanga bank notes.) Download a sample of the book. (This sample is a PDF file, containing pages 37 to 41 of the book. The size of the file is 311KB.)

Written by Peter Symes, The Bank Notes of Katanga contains a detailed account of the history of the bank notes issued in Katanga between 1960 and 1963. Seceding from the newly independent Congo in July 1960, Katanga maintained an identity as an independent state for two-and-a-half years before being re-integrated with the Congo in 1963. During the period of secession, Katanga established a complex infrastructure which allowed the issue of bank notes, coins and postage stamps. This book explores the history of the two bank note issues made in Katanga during the period of secession, giving details of all notes issued, the circumstances surrounding their issue and the history of the issuing authority, The National Bank of Katanga.

This detailed study presents a great deal of background to the bank note issues. As well as including a short history of Katanga, there are sections that cover the life of Moïse Tshombé (the President of Katanga) and the issue of coins and postage stamps in Katanga. In addition, there are translations of contemporary newspaper reports published during the introduction of the currency and translations of the laws associated with the paper money of Katanga. As well as covering the two bank note issues made by Katanga, two other issues are also discussed, these being unissued notes prepared by the British printers 'Waterlow & Sons' and an emergency issue of notes utilizing bank notes originally issued in 'Rwanda and Burundi'.

The book is illustrated with all the bank notes discussed in the book, and contains many other photographs that illuminate the background to the bank note issues. With over 80 pages, the book includes a comprehensive index, bibliography and a catalogue of all notes described in the book.

Having taken a number of years to research, this book is the first study which specifically addresses the bank notes issued in Katanga and its content is greatly enhanced through the author having access to valuable source material which is not widely available. While the subject may appear obscure, The Bank Notes of Katanga brings to life the circumstances surrounding the bank note issues and, although it is over 35 years since Katanga faded into history, the history of the Katangan bank note issues is no less intriguing today than the fortunes of Katanga which captured the imagination of the world over thirty-five years ago.

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