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Ethiopia unveils new currency notes to curb illegal money circulation

By EDITH MUTETHYA in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-09-15 01:05

Ethiopia on Monday unveiled new currency notes, to curb illegal money circulation and strengthen legal transactions.

"The currency change is aimed at gathering currency circulating informally and outside of financial institutions; curb corruption and contraband as well as support financial institutions to confront currency shortage,"the prime minister's office said in a statement.

The new currency notes have enhanced security features and other distinctive elements.

The prime minister's office said security plays a key component in the currency change process and relevant authorities together with members of the community will enforce secure implementation.

It added that a Federal command post that includes National Defense, NISS and the Federal Police will be set up to oversee the process with the expectation that regional command posts will also be set up.

The new currency will replace the Birr 10, 50 and 100 notes. An additional Birr 200 note has also been unveiled.However, the Birr 5 note remains unchanged and will be turned into coin format soon.

Most of the print work is currently in country within NBE vault and that distribution mechanism and planning have been developed and will go in effect through concerned bodies.

"While Ethiopia has never had a symbol to represent its currency, a new symbol has been designed and will be soon unveiled to symbolize the Birr," the prime minister's office said.

The government's initiative comes a year after Kenya unveiled new generation banknotes to curb fraud and money laundering.

The Kenyan new notes launched on June 1, 2019, haveunique themes symbolizing agriculture, tourism, green energy, social services and governance.

The notes also contain various images, including the big five wildlife and the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Center.

The launch of the new notes saw the old Ksh1,000 note cease to be a legal tender on Nov 1.

The Central Bank of Kenya claimed that the Ksh1,000 note was being used for illicit financial deals not only within the country but also in neighboring countries.

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