ETB 5 | Bank Note | Five Birr | Kae Kae | CurrencyStackerKK | Ethiopia | Africa

ETB 5 | Bank Note | Five Birr | Kae Kae | CurrencyStackerKK | Ethiopia | Africa

5 Ethiopia Birr

The Birr (Amharic: ብር) is the unit of currency in Ethiopia. It is subdivided into 100 santim.

In 1931, Emperor Haile Selassie I formally requested that the international community use the name Ethiopia (as it had already been known internally for at least 1,600 years[2]) instead of the exonym Abyssinia, and the issuing Bank of Abyssinia also became the Bank of Ethiopia. Thus, the pre-1931 currency could be considered the Abyssinian birr and the post-1931 currency the Ethiopian birr, although it was the same country and the same currency before and after. 186 billion birr were in circulation in 2008 ($14.7 billion or €9.97 billion).

First birr (1855–1936) – In the 18th and 19th centuries, Maria Theresa thalers and blocks of salt called “amole tchew” (አሞሌ) served as currency in Ethiopia. The thaler was known locally as the Birr (literally meaning “silver” in Ge’ez and Amharic) or ታላሪ talari. The Maria Theresa thaler was officially adopted as the standard coin in 1855, although the Indian rupee and the Mexican dollar were also used in foreign trade.

Second birr (1945–present) – The birr was reintroduced in 1945 at a rate of 1 birr = 2 shillings. The name Ethiopian dollar was used in the English text on the banknotes. It was divided into 100 santim (derived from the French centime). The name birr became the official name, used in all languages, in 1976.

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