The Bank of Namibia announced this week that it will release a new series of banknotes on March 21.
The new series will cover the N$10, N$20, N$50, N$100 and N$200 banknotes, and will be equipped with heightened security features to prevent counterfeiting.
These new banknotes will also feature a change in design. The portrait of Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi on the N$10 and N$20 notes, for example, will be replaced with a portrait of Dr. Sam Nujoma.
“The change of the portrait on the N$10 and N$20 should therefore be viewed in the spirit of continuing to honour and recognize people who made personal sacrifices at different times of the long and bitter road to our freedom and independence. Dr Sam Nujoma is one of the living examples of such individuals amidst us,” Ndangi Katoma, the Bank of Namibia’s Director of Strategic Communication told New Era in an interview this week.
Though the new notes will be launched in March, they will not be circulated until May. There are two main reasons for this, according to Katoma.
“First, it is simply to allow commercial banks to ensure that they have adjusted and tested their systems. This will ensure that they finalize all logistical arrangements pertaining to handling of the new notes before issuance,” he said. “Secondly, this will allow the Bank of Namibia to conduct information campaigns and create the necessary awareness about the security features on the new banknotes before they are issued into the market.”
The old series will continue to be circulated after the new notes are introduced but will gradually be phased out over time. There is no steadfast timeline in place under which this process will take place.