Kenya’s central bank (CBK) has unveiled new generation coins that will start circulating this week.
The new currency contains features that make it accessible to visually impaired people. President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the unveiling of the new coins.
The coins will be available in denominations of Sh1, Sh5, Sh10 and Sh20.
“Last time I entered CBK doors was in 1984 when I came to look for some foreign exchange to go to school and I was told to go upstairs to see some secretary, I don’t know whether those things still exist or you are doing this in a different manner,” he said.
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the coins bear significant aspect of the country and will serve as a means of passing knowledge, conserving culture, and promoting Kenya’s global uniqueness.
“CBK invited the public to provide their views on the elements that they desired on the coins. Having considered all submissions, CBK considered the most appropriate elements including the designs that best meet CBK’s technical requirements, serve the public aspirations and capture the spirit of the constitution,” he said during the launch.
Dr Njoroge said that the market regulator will in the coming days rollout a campaign to create awareness, educating the public on the new coinage.
The Sh1 coins weighs 5.5g and are silver in colour while the Sh5 coin weighs 3.75g with a diameter of 19.5mm.
The Sh10 coin weighs five grammes, is 23mm in diameter with a yellow outer and silver inner.
The new Sh20 coin weighs nine grammes with a diameter of 26mm. It is silver on the outer side and yellow inside.
The unveiling of the new currency is in line with provisions of the 2010 Constitution that banned the use of presidential portraits on Kenyan currency.
The phase-out of the old-generation coins, CBK said, will be gradual, with the new currency coins will circulate alongside the existing ones.