The official currency of Botswana is the Botswana Pula. The Pula is also used in Zimbabwe. One Pula is worth 100 Thebe and coins are distributed in 5, 10, 25 and 50 Thebe and 1, 2 and 5 Pula. Banknotes come in 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Pula. All Botswana Pula currency depicts images related to political and cultural aspects of Botswana, in particular mining and tourism. Originally all banknotes featured a picture of the president, but in order to deter forgeries, each value now shows a different portrait of important dignitaries or important cultural figures in Botswana.
The word "Pula" in Setswana means "rain." Rain is pretty rare in Botswana and so it is deemed a very valuable and precious thing, hence its association with the country’s currency. It can also be translated as "blessing" and "Thebe" means "shield." These chosen names were shown to be popular in public opinion polls when the currency was first introduced.
Botswana was initially part of the Rand Monetary Area (RMA) and so its currency was that of South Africa, the South African Rand. However, when the country gained independence in 1974, the decision was made to establish a new currency for the country. Following much research and development, the new Botswana Pula was introduced on 23rd August 1976. This day is now called 'Pula Day.' The new currency was very popular with the local people and so was adopted quickly. The currency began with four coins and four banknotes but due to increases in pricing and inflation, new denominations were introduced and the first 200 Pula banknote was circulated in 2009.
- Thebe (100)
- 23rd August 1976
- Bank of Botswana
- De la Rue
- The Royal Mint