The National Reserve Bank (BNA) announced last Thursday that the new Kwanza (national currency) notes, to be released in January, will only bring the face of the first President of Angola, António Agostinho Neto.
The information was advanced by the BNA Governor, José de Lima Massano, at the National Assembly, during the discussion and approval in general terms of the Draft Law that allows the Central Bank (BNA) to put into circulation a new series of kwanza notes.
On the current kwanza notes, besides the face of Agostinho Neto, one can also see the face of the former president of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos.
José de Lima Massano explained that the new kwanza notes are to be called the “2020 series” and made of polymer (plastic) material that will make them more resistant than the paper notes currently in circulation.
The official assured that they are safer because better security features have been included in them, thus making their forgery difficult.
The new notes – of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 kwanzas – are also illustrated with natural wonders of Angola.
For the production of the new Kwanza family of notes, according to José Massano, BNA held a limited by invitation international tender, following which three entities were approved, namely one from Germany, one Russian and one American.
As it was adopted in 2012, the BNA Governor stated that the new kwanza notes will be introduced gradually and in the same way there will be a gradual withdrawal process from circulation of the current notes.
José de Lima Massano explained that the experience of countries that have adopted plastic notes points to an average duration of four times longer than paper notes.
Withdrawals of degraded notes have high costs
According to Lima Massano, an average 300 million notes are withdrawn from circulation and destroyed annually, costing around 15 billion kwanzas, about 30 million dollars each financial year.
Therefore, José Massano, informed that at the end of November this year, the BNA was having a stock of about 230 million notes ready to enter circulation, an amount equivalent to the annual consumption.
Regardless of entrance or not into circulation of the new Kwanza notes, he also clarified that the BNA has annual expenses of around 15 billion kwanzas, with the maintenance of notes circulating in the economy.
The official said that this expenditure is not part of the State Budget, but of the Central Bank itself.
On his turn, José Massano pointed out that the destruction of the notes in bad condition is done inside the various BNA premises.