German East Africa (GEA) was a German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, and the mainland part of Tanzania. Like other colonial powers, the Germans expanded their empire in the Africa Great Lakes region.
Did you know, the Indian rupee was the dominant currency used along the East African coast during the second half of the 19th century? “Rupie” was the currency of GEA between 1890 and 1916. But it continued to be circulated in the Tanganyika Territory until 1920.
After 1890, the German East Africa Company acquired rights to mint coinage and issued rupies which were equivalent to the Indian and Zanzibar rupee. The Company retained its coinage rights even after the takeover of German East Africa by the government later in 1890. In 1904 the German government took over currency matters and established the “Ostafrikanische Bank”.
In 1905, the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank introduced notes for 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 Rupien. Between 1915 and 1917, emergency notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 200 Rupien.
The note depicted in the image beside is a 5 Rupien banknote of 1905. The obverse depicts the Dar es Salaam harbour along with texts in German. The reverse features the denominational values in geometric patterns.
Image Courtesy: auctions - Catawiki
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