4 May 2010

Uganda: BoU Issues New Currency Notes

The Bank of Uganda yesterday introduced redesigned currency notes but the Central Bank said the old banknotes will remain in circulation until further notice.

"Both series will be legal tender and should continue to be used in cash transactions until the public is informed otherwise. This could take one-and-a -half or two years. Therefore, there will be no special exercise by the bank currency centres to exchange the current banknotes for the new banknotes. The Public is advised not to rush to banks to exchange the notes," said, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the governor Bank of Uganda.

The new series of banknotes are scheduled to go into circulation on May 17.

The introduction of the new banknotes family is the first major change of currency in over 20 years. The Central Bank is also introducing a Shs2,000 bank note, which it says is meant to improve divisibility of the shilling. "The Bank has continually reviewed the security features of the notes to keep ahead of counterfeiters. We widened features on the notes to assist the public to easily differentiate the genuine notes from counterfeits in addition to assisting members of the public who may suffer from sight impairment to easily identify legal tender in its various denominations," Mr Mutebile said.

"I would also like to it make clear that the introduction of a new family of banknotes should have no effect whatsoever on the prices of goods and services. The amount of money in circulation will not be changed by the introduction of new bank notes and therefore no inflation should arise from these changes. There are also no changes in the Uganda coins."

Six banknotes were issued; Shs1,000, Shs2,000, Shs5,000, Shs10,000, Shs20,000 and Shs50,000. Uganda becomes the first country in Africa to launch the banknotes with the advanced security features called Spark.

Finance Minister Syda Bbumba who launched the redesigned notes said research and development will continue to produce new security features that can be utilised to safeguard the physical integrity of the shilling.

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