The Gambia’s Central Bank governor Bakary Jammeh, has on Thursday said that the country will begin replacing notes bearing former leader’s portrait with ones called family notes.
Speaking at a press briefing governor Jammeh said “when you print millions, you will have to charge million to your profit and loss expense. We developed a strategy here at the bank [to replace those notes], as we also do not want to see Yahya Jammeh’s portrait on the Dalasi. Yet it is very expensive to print fresh bank notes”.
He added that redesigning an entire new bank note can take Central Bank between nine and ten months. Hence Gambia’s Central Bank said they first embarked on a projection of the stock of bank notes they have, in terms of how long it will last.
“Now when we did with our existing stock, we realised the stock we have can go for six months. But if you want to redesign again, that will last nine to ten months,” he explained, maintaining that it is not an easy exercise to design and print new bank notes.
Before 2015, Gambia’s currency bears what the Central Bank calls “family notes” – portraits of a typical Gambian man, woman, boy and girl.
Governor Jammeh further stated that the bank notes that former leader has his portrait printed were introduced in 2015. “The 2014 notes that are still in circulation and without Jammeh’s portrait on them can be reprinted and delivered in February 2018 giving us time to redesign the entire Gambian currency with new security features, and it will be different from the kind of bank note we currently have”, he explained.
“In fact we are thinking of standard banknotes like that of South Africa or Ghana with features that are greater, which will be a total redesign and it will hit the books by end of the year 2018”. The other notes without his (Jammeh’s) portrait he noted will be available by February 2018.
Addressing queries as to how the Central bank will engage in phasing out Jammeh’s portrait from the bank note, bank governor has this to “what we do is, any notes with his head that comes in at Central Bank does not go out again. So it is going to be a process, and they will all be eventually replaced with ‘family notes”.