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Money in Africa

The World Collections Programme has supported the Money in Africa programme, which is an ongoing programme run by the Coins and Medals department at the British Museum.


  • The British Museum, London, UK
  • National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
  • Addis Ababa University
  • Iziko Museums, Cape Town
  • Bank of Uganda Money Museum, Kampala


  • To support capacity development through training with colleagues working with numismatic collections.

Project details

Since 2005, curators from the British Museum have been working with partner museums in East and West Africa that have important collections of coins, paper money and medals.  The World Collections Programme has supported activities that form part of the overall programme.

Initially curators worked closely with institutions in Ethiopia, including the National Museum, which has the most important collection of Aksumite coins in the world. Training, capacity and development needs where identified, and a member of staff from Addis Ababa University visited the UK to attend the International Numismatic Congress and the Portable Antiquities Scheme conference.

During 2009 – 10, staff from the British Museum visited Iziko Museums, Cape Town to identify with them possible future joint projects, including work on the numismatic collections housed in the new Social History Centre. This visit served to expand the reach of the programme through starting to develop a partnership with organisations in South Africa.  

British Museum staff also identified training requirements with the Bank of Uganda Money Museum, and worked with museum staff in Kampala in February 2010. Follow-up visits in October 2010 and March 2011 will focus on the mounting of new permanent display, and the conservation, documentation and objects in their collection.

Curators discussing coins and handcrosses at the National Museum of Ethiopia

Curators discussing coins and handcrosses at the National Museum of Ethiopia