In Botswana, people make use of the currency called Pula. Such currency is held dear by the country’s people. Why so? Pula was named after the meaning of rain in Setswana. This is due to the fact that rain is very much scarce in the country of Botswana where the Kalahari Desert pretty much takes up most of the country’s land. Such scarcity had caused the people of Botswana to care and value the rain so much.
This value has placed a second meaning to the currency – one that is associated with the word “blessing”. The country’s people foresee the rain as a blessing and therefore derived their currency name from these two meanings. Compared with other currencies, this particular currency is said to be unique for having evolved from within the hearts and beliefs of the people themselves.
Botswana pula is further subdivided into 100 thebe. The word thebe means shield. The currency code for this, according to the ISO standard, is BWP. This currency was introduced by replacing the South African rand in the year 1976. Despite economical devaluation, Botswana pula still remains as one of the strongest currencies used in Africa. Such power even reached the usage of this currency by people in other countries, particularly Zimbabwe.
During its birth as Botswana’s official currency, coins were greatly introduced with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 thebe plus 1 pula. Most of the thebe coins were made with copper-nickel except for the 1 thebe, which was struck in aluminum, and the 5 thebe, which was in bronze. These coins were first shaped round with the exception of 1 pula which was in scallop form.
Later in the year 1981, dodecagonal 2 thebe coins were introduced and were made from bronze. But this latest type of coin was soon abolished in the year 1985. People never did expect that in the near future changes to the coins’ actual creation would happen. A switch of materials to be used in reproducing such coins came about in the year 1991. The old bronze 5 thebe was now given a new look with a bronze-plated steel. The copper-nickel 10, 25, and 50 thebe was then changed to nickel-plated steel coins.
The colors and materials of such coins were not the only ones to change in the years to come. Their shapes were also changed eventually – that is, in the year 1998. The 1 and 2 thebe were eradicated as a denomination, while the smaller seven – sided 5 and 25 thebe coins were introduced. On the other hand, the new 10 and 50 thebe coins remained to be in their former round shape form. Lastly, by the year 2000 the bimetallic 5 pula was then changed to a coin that had a cupronickel center within a brass ring.
In 1976 banknotes were also introduced as representations of this currency. The following denominations of notes were as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20. By 1991 and 1994, the 1 and 2 pula were changed to coins while 50 and 100 notes were given birth in 1993. In 2000, the 5 pula note was replaced by a coin.
Dynamic appearance and innovations were introduced in this currency in the year 2006. Some of the notes, particularly the 1, 2 and 5 pula, were actually demonetized, but people were still given the chance to change them to the new currency in the central bank within a five year deadline.
With the many dynamic processes that this currency had experienced across numerous years, its great meaning and valued weight to the people of Botswana still remains. The current rate of one US dollar is 6.69 pula.