The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on Tuesday revealed new Ksh. 1, Ksh. 5, Ksh. 10 and Ksh. 20 coins; that are scheduled for immediate circulation, in a ceremony presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.
Unlike the current generation coins, the new currency will not incorporate the portraits of former presidents on them but rather the portraits of wildlife present in the country.
The revamped Ksh. 1 coin bears the image of a giraffe while the Ksh.5 coin bears the portrait of a rhino. Similarly, the Ksh. 10 has the image of a lion while the Ksh. 20 coin has the image of an elephant.
The introduction of the new currency is consistent with requirements of the 2010 Constitution that debarred the use of presidential portraits on Kenyan currency.
According to President Kenyatta, the new coins will conserve Kenya’s unique culture while paying homage to the country’s diverse wildlife presence.
“The new coins, which are now legal tender, were issued today (Tuesday) via a gazette notice, and have significant aspects of our nation which will serve as a means of preserving our culture and passing relevant knowledge,” President Kenyatta said at CBK during his first visit of the institution since taking up office in 2013.
The coins will also have features that make them conducive for use by visually impaired persons and President Kenyatta thanked the CBK management for including, these features in the new coins.
“A nation’s currency is not merely an instrument for exchange of value. Beyond being a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account, the motifs and design elements in currencies present a unique way of recording history, celebrating a country’s diverse culture or natural environment,” said the President.
According to the CBK, public opinion was taken into account when crafting the coins and President Uhuru Kenyatta praised the lender for including the Kenyan populace in the process.
CBK is also expected to educate the public about the new currency in coming weeks.