Ethiopia aims at curbing corruption with the introduction of new banknotes.
September 14, 2020
Following months of rumors about possible change of Ethiopian currency banknotes, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government announced on Monday that features of existing notes are changed. A new denomination is also introduced.
The 10 birr, 50 birr and 100 birr denominations have got a complete new feature including colour changes. The 10 birr denomination has now a 100 birr look in terms of colour and bears a picture from the old 5 birr notes – a farmer collecting coffee. The new fifty birr note does not have change in terms of colour. The picture represents Ethiopia’s ambition to transform agriculture in the country.
The new 100 birr notes has the old 5 birr notes look with a picture of Ethiopia’s main tourist attractions sites.
The government also introduced a new 200 denomination. This banknote looks much like the 100 birr note which was in use before the coming of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to power in 1991.And it bears a symbol of peace – a dove with palm leaves.
According to a report from the state media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), the government hopes to curb corruption and illicit trade among other things.
It is also believed that the new features will make counterfeiting impossible. During last Ethiopian Year, authorities from the Ethiopian National Bank announced hundreds of billions of birr are stashed outside of the banking system.
Last month, the National Bank of Ethiopia introduced a new limit to the amount of cash withdrawal and cash stash for individuals and businesses to 1.5 million birr only.
It is widely believed that TPLF leaders and individuals linked to former TPLF leaders have stashed billions of Ethiopian birr illegally.
Much of the printing work for the new Ethiopian currency is completed, and it is said to be at the exchequer in the National Bank Ethiopia. Distribution of the new banknotes is to be announced and law enforcement bodies are expected to have a significant role in the course of implementing the changes.
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