The country’s Central Bank chief, Bakery Jammeh presented copies of the new notes to President Adama Barrow. The new currency is to be released into the economy today through commercial banks.
The new currency notes released include the 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 dalasi notes.
As expected, the portraits of former Gambian long-serving leader, Yahya Jammeh were removed from the notes. Old currency notes in the country contained Jammeh’s pictures. The decision to wipe his legacy from the country was the reason behind the currency change.
Interestingly, in place of the former president’s photos, the government placed pictures of the country’s national birds and other animals.
The move sees the country overhaul all currency notes introduced by Yahya Jammeh. The old currency notes have been in use in the country since Yahya Jammeh took power as president.
The new notes have 21s Century high-security features. Unlike the old currency notes, it would be difficult to counterfeit them.
The introduction saw the scrapping of the 25 dalasi note, which the Central bank chief said was unnecessary.
The apex bank in January 2018 said it was phasing out all copies of the dalasi which had Jammeh on them.
The Central Bank chief said:
“The currencies that [Jammeh] has his heads on were printed in 2015, and if you check currency in circulation from 2014 to 2015, there are those that do not have his head.
“So we can print those 2014 ones on which he does not have his head and get delivery in February (2018),” Jammeh told journalists.
“So [Jammeh’s] face is gradually phasing out because notes that come in here do not go out again. And the new stock we will print will take us the whole of 2018 without his head.
“Then we can have time to redesign the entire currency with new security features… We are thinking of standards such as the current banknotes of countries like South Africa and Ghana,” he added.
Yahya Jammeh criticized his predecessor for printing notes with his face on it in 1971. Gambia’s first president, Dawda Jawara printed currencies with his picture on it.
Many critics were surprised to see Yahya Jammeh roll out a new set of currency with his photo when he came into power.
Yahya Jammeh is under investigation for mismanagement of public funds, human rights abuse and other crimes.
He is currently on exile in Equatorial Guinea where he is leaving as a farmer.
Header Image Credit: Africa Feeds