As part of Gambia’s attempts to move forward, President Adama Barrow’s proposal to roll out new currency notes has come to fruition.
The country’s Central Bank chief Bakary Jammeh on Monday gave copies of the new Dalasi currency notes to Barrow. The new notes will be released into the economy through commercial banks.
The most notable feature on the new notes is the absence of the portrait of long-serving president Yahya Jammeh. His image has been replaced by one of the national birds.
The currency notes are a complete overhaul of the currency that Gambia has been using since independence. The notes are furnished with high-security features and include 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Dalasi.
Gambia’s Zenith bank in January 2018 said it was phasing out all copies of the Dalasi that had Jammeh on them. The said notes were issued in 2015, Jammeh lost elections in late 2016, and was later forced into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2017.
The Central Bank said the notes that have Jammeh’s portrait only circulated for a year and would be easy to withdraw. “The currency notes that have his [Jammeh] head were printed in 2015 and if you check notes in circulation from 2014 to 2015, there are those that do not have his picture,” he said
Mr Jammeh had criticised his predecessor, President Dawda Jawara, for printing notes with his face on back in 1971. However, decades later, Jammeh became the man he despised, and also had his face on the Dalasi.
A commission of enquiry set up by President Barrow has heard and learned that Jammeh plundered state funds and failed the economy.