Central Banking

Zambia unveils new currency features

The Bank of Zambia reveals images and security features of new, rebased, currency; now comprises six banknotes and four coins

The Bank of Zambia released the images and security features of new banknotes and coins on October 2, as part of a public awareness campaign promoting the country's rebased currency.

The Zambian government announced plans to rebase the national currency, the kwacha, in January, after a period of prolonged inflation.

The face of the banknotes will continue to depict Zambia's national symbol, the African fish eagle, which the central bank said embodied many of its own values.

"The fish eagle is said to reflect Zambians' pride; the excellent vision and swift reaction symbolises the country's focus on economic growth and its ability to rise above the country's challenges. The calmly seated eagle on a branch of a tree represents stability in prices," the central bank said.

The images were released as part of an awareness campaign entitled 'Kwacha, Ngwee: New Money. Same Value'. They were presented in the form of a conversion chart, to aid the public understanding of the transfer, which will occur on January 1, 2013.

Each denomination of the currency will be divided by 1,000. This means the 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 kwacha banknotes will be replaced by notes of 5, 10, 20 and 50 kwacha respectively.

The central bank is also introducing a wider range of denominations. This includes a new 100 kwacha note (pictured), which is larger than anything in the current system. In addition, there will be a 2 kwacha banknote and coins to represent 1 kwacha, and the lower value 50, 10 and 5 ngwee.

The new banknotes will feature 12 security features, including multiple holographic threads, an iridescent strip and a blink block visible only under ultraviolet light.

In addition to the African fish eagle, the banknotes will feature an illustration of one of six types of tree found in Zambia's forests, in addition to an animal native to the country.

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