The British West African Pound was the currency of British West Africa, a group of British colonies, protectorates and mandate territories - Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana (originally Gold Coast) and Gambia.
The British West African Pound was equal to the (pre-decimal) Pound Sterling and was similarly subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. The Halfpenny (or half penny) was thus equal to 1/2 of a penny, 1/24th of a shilling or 1/480th of a pound (i.e., 480 of these coins made one pound).
Unlike its Imperial counterpart - the British Halfpenny - the British West African Halfpenny had a central hole which made the two coins incompatible; this was done to make sure that colonial money does not get exported to Great Britain to be used there, leaving the colonies with no cash.
For most of the history of the denomination, the coins were made of CuproNickel (copper-nickel); in 1952 only, the coins were in bronze.
After decolonisation, the coins were replaced by the various new countries as they introduced their own independent currencies:
- Nigeria introduced the Nigerian Pound in 1958
- Ghana introduced in Ghanaian Pound in 1958
- British Cameroon (on unification with Cameroon) adopted the Central African CFA Franc in 1961
- Sierra Leone introduced the Leone in 1964
- Gambia introduced the Gambian Pound in 1965
In some places, British West African coins circulated in parallel with the new coinage until 1968.