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The kwanza (sign: Kz; ISO 4217 code: AOA) is the currency of Angola. Four different currencies using the name kwanza have circulated since 1977.
Kwanza was introduced following Angolan independence. It replaced the escudo at par and was subdivided into 100 lwei. Its ISO 4217 code was AOK.
On 8 January 1977, banknotes dated 11 DE NOVEMBRO DE 1975 were introduced by the Banco Nacional de Angola (National Bank of Angola) in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 kwanzas. The 20 kwanza note was replaced by a coin in 1978.
In 1990, the novo kwanza was introduced, with the ISO 4217 code AON. Although it replaced the kwanza at par, Angolans could only exchange 5% of all old notes for new ones; they had to exchange the rest for government securities. This kwanza suffered from high inflation.
This currency was only issued in note form. The first banknotes issued in 1990 were overprints on earlier notes in denominations of 50 (report not confirmed), 500, 1000 and 5000 novos kwanzas (5000 novos kwanzas overprinted on 100 kwanzas). In 1991, the word novo was dropped from the issue of regular banknotes for 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 and 500,000 kwanzas.
In 1995, the kwanza reajustado replaced the previous kwanza at a rate of 1,000 to 1. It had the ISO 4217 code AOR. The inflation continued and no coins were issued.
Despite the exchange rate, such was the low value of the old kwanza that the smallest denomination of banknote issued was 1000 kwanza reajustado. Other notes were 5,000, 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, 500,000, 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 kwanzas.
In 1999, a second currency was introduced simply called the kwanza. Unlike the first kwanza, this currency is subdivided into 100 cêntimos. The introduction of this currency saw the reintroduction of coins. Although it suffered early on from high inflation, its value has now stabilized.
The banknotes are quite similar in design, with only different colours separating them.
The Banco National de Angola issued a new series of kwanza banknotes on March 22, 2013 in denominations of 50, 100, 200 and 500 kwanzas. The other denominations (1000, 2000 and 5000 kwanzas) were issued on May 31, 2013.