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The pula is the
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins. ...
of
Botswana Botswana (, also ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label=Setswana; Kalanga: ''Hango yeBotswana''), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its terri ...
. It has the
ISO 4217 showing the price in the ISO 4217 code "EUR" (''bottom left'') and not the currency sign € ISO 4217 is a Standardization, standard published by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines alpha codes and numeric codes for ...
code ''BWP'' and is subdivided into 100 ''thebe''. ''Pula'' literally means "rain" in
Setswana The Tswana language () is a Bantu language spoken in Southern Africa by about 8,2 million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho-Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30), and is closely related to ...
, because
rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fres ...
is very scarce in Botswana—home to much of the
Kalahari Desert The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending for , covering much of Botswana, and parts of Namibia and South Africa. It is not to be confused with the Angolan, Namibian, and South African Namib coastal ...
—and therefore valuable and a blessing. The word also serves as the national motto of the country. A sub-unit of the currency is known as ''thebe'', or "shield", and represents defence. The names were picked with the help of the public.


History

The Pula was introduced on 23 August 1976, subsequently known as "Pula Day", replacing the
South African rand The rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa. It is subdivided into 100 cents (sign: "c"). The rand is legal tender in the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia, although the last thr ...
at par.


Coins

In 1976, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 thebe. The 1 thebe was struck in aluminum, with the 5 thebe in bronze and the others in
cupro-nickel Cupronickel or copper-nickel (CuNi) is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. The copper content typically varies from 60 to 90 percent. (Monel is a nickel-copper alloy that contains a minimu ...
. These coins were round except for the scalloped 1 pula. Bronze,
dodecagon In geometry, a dodecagon or 12-gon is any twelve-sided polygon. Regular dodecagon A regular dodecagon is a figure with sides of the same length and internal angles of the same size. It has twelve lines of reflective symmetry and rotational symme ...
al 2 thebe coins were introduced in 1981 and discontinued after 1985. In 1991, bronze-plated steel replaced bronze in the 5 thebe, nickel-plated steel replaced cupro-nickel in the 10, 25 and 50 thebe and the 1 pula changed to a smaller,
nickel Nickel is a chemical element with the symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile. Pure nickel, powdered to maximize the reactiv ...
-
brass Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, in proportions which can be varied to achieve varying mechanical and electrical properties. It is a substitutional alloy: atoms of the two constituents may replace each other within the same crystal structu ...
, equilateral-curve seven-sided coin. A similarly shaped, nickel-brass 2 pula was introduced in 1994. In 2004, the composition was changed to brass-plated steel and the size was slightly reduced. Following the withdrawal of the 1 and 2 thebe in 1991 and 1998 respectively, smaller 5, 10, 25 and 50 thebe coins were introduced, with the 5 and 25 thebe coins being seven-sided and the 10 and 50 thebe coins remaining round. A bimetallic 5 pula depicting a mopane caterpillar and a branch of the mopane tree it feeds on was introduced in 2000 composed of a cupronickel center in a ring made of aluminum-nickel-bronze. A new series of coins was introduced in 2013. All previous coins were demonetized with effect from 28 August 2014, and remained exchangeable to current coins for 5 years until 28 August 2019.


Banknotes

On 23 August 1976, the
Bank of Botswana The Bank of Botswana (BoB) is the central bank of Botswana. When Botswana gained independence from Britain in 1966, the country was part of the Rand Monetary Area (RMA). In 1974 Botswana withdrew from the RMA, and the Bank of Botswana and Financial ...
introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10 pula; a 20-pula note followed on 16 February 1978. The 1- and 2-pula notes were replaced by coins in 1991 and 1994, whilst the first 50- and 100-pula notes were introduced on 29 May 1990 and 23 August 1993, respectively. The 5-pula note was replaced by a coin in 2000. The original 1-, 2- and 5-pula banknotes were
demonetized Legal tender is a form of money that courts of law are required to recognize as satisfactory payment for any monetary debt. Each jurisdiction determines what is legal tender, but essentially it is anything which when offered ("tendered") in paym ...
on 1 July 2011. The current series of notes was introduced on 23 August 2009 and contains, for the first time, a 200-pula banknote. In response to the concern of the poor quality of the paper of the 10-pula banknote, the Bank of Botswana revealed a 10-pula banknote in
polymer A polymer (; Greek ''poly-'', "many" + ''-mer'', "part") is a substance or material consisting of very large molecules, or macromolecules, composed of many repeating subunits. Due to their broad spectrum of properties, both synthetic and natura ...
in November 2017 and was issued to the public on 1 February 2018.


Zimbabwe

Due to
hyperinflation in Zimbabwe Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe was a period of currency instability in Zimbabwe that, using Cagan's definition of hyperinflation, began in February 2007. During the height of inflation from 2008 to 2009, it was difficult to measure Zimbabwe's hyperinf ...
from 2006 to 2008, the government of Zimbabwe has allowed circulation of foreign currency since 2008. The
Zimbabwean dollar The Zimbabwean dollar (sign: $, or Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies) was the name of 4 official currencies of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 12 April 2009. During this time, it was subject to periods of above-average inflat ...
became obsolete on 12 April 2009. Several currencies, including the
South African rand The rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa. It is subdivided into 100 cents (sign: "c"). The rand is legal tender in the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia, although the last thr ...
and Botswana pula, circulate in
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the south-west, Zambia to the north, and Mozambi ...

Zimbabwe
,Alongside
Zimbabwean dollar The Zimbabwean dollar (sign: $, or Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies) was the name of 4 official currencies of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 12 April 2009. During this time, it was subject to periods of above-average inflat ...
(suspended indefinitely from 12 April 2009),
euro The euro (symbol: €; code: EUR) is the official currency of 19 of the member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area and includes about 343 million citizens . The euro, which is divided ...
, United States dollar, US dollar, pound sterling,
South African rand The rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa. It is subdivided into 100 cents (sign: "c"). The rand is legal tender in the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia, although the last thr ...
, Indian rupee, Australian dollar, Renminbi, Chinese yuan and Japanese yen. The US dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions in Zimbabwe.
along with the Zimbabwean bond notes and Zimbabwean bond coins, bond coins.


Lesotho

The word ''pula'' also serves as part of the national motto of the Kingdom of Lesotho. As in Botswana, it means "rain" in the Sotho language and is considered a synonym for "blessing".


See also

*Economy of Botswana


References

* * *Schön, Günter und Gerhard, ''Weltmünzkatalog 1900–2010'', 39. Auflage, 2011, Battenberg Gietl Verlag,


External links


Historical banknotes of Botswana
{{Currencies of Africa Currencies of Africa Currencies of Botswana Currencies of the Commonwealth of Nations Currencies of Zimbabwe Currencies introduced in 1976 Currency symbols