Sierra Leone unveils new bank note series with fewer zeroes
- Published: Jul 17, 2022, 8 AM
Sierra Leone bid a not-so-fond farewell to it “zeroes of shame,” as they are widely known in the country, on July 1 when it introduced a new series of bank notes that eliminated three zeroes from each of its four circulating paper money denominations.
The move, described as an attempt to restore confidence in an economy wracked by inflation, was announced by the Bank of Sierra Leone last August, when it disclosed that the 1,000-, 2,000-, 5,000-, and 10,000-leone bills would be replaced by 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-leone notes, plus a new 20-leone note. The old currency traded against the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of 13,000 to 1. Under the new system, 10 leones are worth about 75 cents.
The new notes were distributed to banks during the last week of June. They are said to be smaller, but retain the same designs (unchanged for 20 years) and colors — red, brown, purple, and blue and green.
The series is printed on cotton paper.
The United Nations ranks Sierra Leone as one of the world’s poorest nations, with a rank of 182 among the 189 nations in its Development Index.
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