Security marks in banknotes upped

Dar es Salaam. Bank of Tanzania (BoT) announced yesterday that it has reprinted the banknotes issued in 2010 and made some changes in the security features.

The decision to issue new currency notes comes about a decade after the central bank issued new series of Sh500, Sh1,000, Sh2,000, Sh5,000 and Sh10,000 that constituted a new family of banknotes that rolled out in circulation from January 1, 2011.

In a statement to financial institutions and commercial banks in Tanzania, bank governor Florens Luoga said the decision on new currency, “… has reference to circulating banknotes issued into circulation in 2010 and the Government Notice Number 135 published on 21st February 2020.”

“BoT would like to inform all banks and financial institutions the changes include signatures whereby the re-printed banknotes bear the signatures of the current Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, and the current Governor Prof Luoga,” reads part of the statement.

He said the change involves all banknotes in denominations of Sh1,000, Sh2,000, Sh5,000 and Sh10,000.

According to him, one of the main changes is the replacement of the ‘motion thread’, which is a thin stripe in the banknote, which contains an image that moves when the banknote is tilted side-to-side, or up and down.

He noted the feature has been replaced with a ‘Rolling Star’, a thin windowed security thread that shows a movement and colour change, and when the note is tilted, curved lines (waves) can be seen moving from right to left and forth.

He said the change involves three banknotes of denominations Sh2,000, 5,000 and 10,000. All other security features remain the same as per the current circulating banknotes and please note that the banknotes with these enhanced security features have already been issued into circulation and will circulate concurrently with the existing ones.

Meanwhile, Banking Supervision director Augustino Hotay said it was the responsibility of the BoT to ensure there is enough banknotes in circulation for procurement in. However he noted the currency passes in many hands and environment, therefore fades, calling for production of new ones.

“When the notes become old, unscrupulous people look for ways to forge the currency and as a measure we print new ones with new features for security,” he stressed. He noted that the old notes will continue to be in circulation and taken out when they totally fade.

Commenting on the decision, an economist from the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr Abel Kinyondo said it was a normal decision for the central bank and with no repercussion to the economy.

“It would be alarming if the money was injected into circulation with no reason at all,” he said.