For the first time, Algerian banknotes will include a language other than Arabic. English was chosen by the Algerian Central Bank.
It's a small event that has a big symbolic value. At the time of commemorating the anniversary of November 1, 1954, the date of the outbreak of the National Liberation Revolution, the Algerian Central Bank has just issued a new 2 dinar note and a new 000 dinar coin. Usually including mentions exclusively in Arabic, this time we see translations in English.
Algeria: A few weeks after Elisabeth Borne's trip and a few months after Emmanuel Macron's, the new tickets are in English. pic.twitter.com/D5PpF8DVuU
- Georges Malbrunot (@Malbrunot) November 1, 2022
French never used on dinar banknotes
Contrary to what the foreign press sometimes announces, since 1964, French has never been present on Algerian banknotes. But the fact that the Algerian Central Bank is opting for English rather than French is highly symbolic, especially at a time when relations between Paris and Algiers are heating up, and a few weeks after the trip of a delegation led by the Prime Minister Frenchwoman Elisabeth Borne in Algeria.
But should we therefore see a message addressed to France? "It would be a sterile controversy," says an Algerian economist. French has never been written on banknotes in Algeria”. For this specialist, it is above all a question of “opening up to the world”. The announcement of the printing of the new note with inscriptions in English also coincides with the start of the Arab League summit. How to promote the dinar internationally?
Political will ?
Some observers see it rather as Algeria's desire to provide for the convertibility of the dinar in the future. Others consider it to be the first step from Algiers towards the BRICS. The Algerian Central Bank has not yet given specific explanations.
In Algeria, some are surprised that English, which has no official existence, was chosen when Tamazight, according to article 4 of the Constitution, "is also a national and official language", even if "the Arabic remains the official language of the state.
Besides the debate on the language used on the new banknotes and coins, it is important to note that the new coin bears the image of Hassiba Ben Bouali, an important figure in the female resistance of the War of Liberation, when we see on the new ticket the image of Emir Abdelkader and several Algerian symbols such as the great mosque of Algiers, Mount Hoggar or the Roman ruins of Tipaza.
The banknote and the coin will be put into circulation this Wednesday, November 2, warns the management of the Bank of Algeria.