Kenya plans to introduce a new generation currency in the second half of 2017, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, Patrick Njoroge, said on Wednesday.
Njoroge told a media briefing in Nairobi that the designs for the currency were being finalized.
“We are fast tracking the release of the new currency in order to comply with the provision of the constitution,” Njoroge said during a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the CBK.
Kenya’s 2010 constitution bars the country from using a national currency that depicts portraits of persons. The current currency in circulation has portraits of Kenya’s first, second and third presidents on it.
In 1966, the CBK issued its first Kenyan currency that replaced the then prevailing East African currency which was legal tender in the region.
Njoroge said that the new currency will include security features to make sure that counterfeits will be almost impossible to make.
“The idea is to make sure greater macroeconomic stability through providing a stable supply of currency,” he added.
The new currency will be in denominations of 50 Kenyan shillings, 200 shillings, 500 shillings as well as 1,000 shillings (around 10 U.S. dollars).
The governor said that a massive publicity campaign will be rolled out before the introduction of the new currency to increase uptake.
According to the CBK, the current currency will be withdrawn in phases, even as the new currency is introduced.
CBK numismatic museum was also launched on Wednesday which contains a sample of all currencies used in Kenya since Kenya became British colony.