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.
Today we are discussing a German East Africa 1 rupee banknote of 1915. Printed on a plain background both the sides have texts in German. The obverse has “Interim banknote The Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank pays the consignor of this banknote at its coffers in the German East African Conservation Area without a legitimacy check; A rupee; Daressalam, Tabora, November 1, 1915 German East African Bank, branch office Dar es Salaam; In power of attorney; Power of special authorization.”
The reverse has the text “The equivalent of this banknote is fully deposited with the Imperial Government of German East Africa. Kadri ya noti hii imewekwa sahihi katika Imperial Government of German East Africa Who imitates or falsifies banknotes, or imitates or falsifies procure and put into circulation is punishable with a prison not under 2 years.”
Image Courtesy: VCoins