The republic of Guinea-Bissau was a Portuguese colony from the mid-15th century until the 1970s. In 1973 the little country on the western coast of Africa declared its independencen. Instead of the Portuguese escudo, which Portugal had until then issued for its colony, Guinea-Bissau adopted the peso. 1 peso was subdivided into 100 centavos. In 1997 the land joined the West African Monetary Community, which uses the CFA franc. Along with Guinea-Bissau the Union has seven other members, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.