President Uhuru Kenyatta today presided over the launch of new generation currency notes for all denominations with an announcement that the old 1000 shillings banknote will be withdrawn by October 1.
The President presided over the rollout of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings notes that have been issued in accordance with the 2010 Constitution.
Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge who took the President through the profile of the new notes at Narok Stadium said the CBK was guided by the constitution in choosing the features and elements depicted on the banknotes as well as input from Kenyans through an elaborate public participation programme.
“The Central Bank of Kenya has now completed the process of producing the New Generation banknotes, in accordance with the Constitution and all applicable laws. I confirm that the New Generation banknotes were issued yesterday, May 31, 2019, by a Gazette Notice. They are now legal tender,” Dr Njoroge said.
The Governor announced that the old 1000 shillings banknote will be withdrawn by October 1 to deal with illicit financial activities including reported cases of currency counterfeiting.
“We have assessed the grave concern that our large banknotes—particularly the older one thousand shillings series—are being used for illicit financial flows in Kenya and also other countries in the region,” the Governor said.
He said the issues concerning the 1000 shillings note raised grave concerns that would jeopardize proper transactions and the conduct of commerce in Kenyan currency.
“By a Gazette Notice dated May 31, 2019, all persons have until October 1, 2019, to exchange those notes, after which the older one thousand shillings banknotes will cease to be legal tender. More details about this will be provided,” the Governor said.
All the other new banknotes except the 1000 will circulate alongside those previously issued but not withdrawn.
The launch of the new notes, witnessed by Deputy President Dr William Ruto, was conducted immediately after President Kenyatta read his speech to the Nation during celebrations to mark the 56th Madaraka Day.
“The launch of the New Generation banknotes at the Madaraka Day celebrations underscores that the history of the Central Bank is intertwined with the history of our country,” Dr Njoroge noted.
The new banknotes bear significant aspects of the Kenyan nation and will serve as a means of passing knowledge, conserving culture and promoting the country’s global uniqueness, the CBK boss said.
All banknotes bear the image of Kenyatta International Conference Centre, one of the most iconic and recognisable landmarks in Kenya.
The banknotes also embody each of the big five; nyati, chui, kifaru, simba, and ndovu. Each banknote has a unique theme to showcase the richness of the people and nature in Kenya.
The fifty shillings notes showcase green energy, one hundred shillings (Agriculture), two hundred shillings (social services), five hundred shillings (tourism) and one thousand shillings has the governance theme.
“These are the drivers of a Newly Reborn and Prosperous Kenya,” said Dr Njoroge
The new banknotes bear features that make them more accessible to the visually impaired members of the society.
Governor Njoroge said that in coming days, CBK will roll out an awareness campaign to educate the public on the features of the new banknotes.