Burundi issues two new versions of franc notes
- Published: Jun 28, 2023, 10 AM
The East African nation of Burundi issued a new paper money series in 2018, yet it has already found it necessary to withdraw and replace its 5,000- and 10,000-franc bank notes with new ones.
The two denominations, worth $1.77 U.S. and $3.54 U.S., are the highest of the six in circulation in a country that the World Population Review calls the poorest country in the world, with a per capita GDP of $270.
The Bank of the Republic of Burundi attributed the move to what it called an increase in circulation in the “informal circuit” that led to instability in the activities of financial institutions. It also said in its press announcement that there was a shortage of these notes in banks that destabilized activities.
All 5,000- and 10,000-franc notes dated July 4, 2018, were withdrawn as of June 7, and replaced by new ones dated Nov. 7, 2022. There was a 10-day time limit expiring June 17 for holders to deposit the old notes in their accounts and to open a bank account if necessary. The old notes were to be legal tender only until June 17. Further restrictions limited individuals to total deposits of 10 million francs ($3,543) and legal entities to 30 million francs per day and per account. The bank said it would deploy agents to rural areas to assist in the exchange.
The main difference between the old and new notes is color. Whereas the old 5,000-franc note was blue, the new one is predominantly gray with two pink stripes. The 10,000-franc note, which was yellow in color, is now pink with green stripes.
The watermark is transparent. On the 5,000-franc note the watermark is a portrait of President Melchior Ndadaye. On the 10,000-franc note it is of Prince Louis Rwagasore in an oval frame.
Other features on both notes are tactical features for the vision-impaired, a security thread, a color changing moiré effect in the shield at the top right, and below that a drum printed with color-changing ink.
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