HomeFEATURED ARTICLENew-look currency to drop president portrait

New-look currency to drop president portrait

The faces of presidents will not be used on Kenyan shilling notes and coins on the new design to be done by Central Bank. In a notice published in the dailies yesterday, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) called on the public to submit proposals for design elements for the new currency.

It will take two years for the new design notes to issued to a commercial bank. CBK says designs should reflect the spirit of the new constitution and the country’s development goals as enshrined in Vision 2030. They must also be unique to Kenya, attractive, socially acceptable and culturally relevant.

The new constitution banned incorporation of portraits or images of individuals in currency design. This means the faces of the late president Jomo Kenyatta and his successor former president Moi will not be used on the new currency. It is not the first time that local currency is undergoing an aesthetic overhaul.

In 1979, Kenyan notes were redesigned and emblazoned with the face of former President Moi to usher in his era. Currently, bank notes and coins in circulation carry pictures of founding President Kenyatta and his successor Moi, save for the Sh40 coin that carries a picture of the current president, Mwai Kibaki. Share This Story Share Dominant Kenyan physical features, flora and fauna and key economic activities such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, are expected to replace these presidential portraits.

Colours and sizes will also be reconsidered, a move that could force commercial banks to re-configure their ATMs and other currency dispensing machines. April 13, 2012 is the deadline for the public to submit design proposals after which it will take a minimum of 24 months.

The current family of currency will continue to circulate concurrently with the new design currency.  The maximum lifespan of a note is three years while that of a coin is 25 years. Any old currency left in circulation could still be acceptable legal tender for decades to come, before CBK demonetizes them.

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