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CBK to open museum for souvenir currencies

By Moses Michira | August 24th 2016
Central Bank of Kenya plans to open a currency museum mid next month. The museum will exhibit, among others, golden coins, as part of the activities to celebrate 50 years of operation.PHOTO:COURTESY

Central Bank of Kenya plans to open a currency museum mid next month. The museum will exhibit, among others, golden coins, as part of the activities to celebrate 50 years of operation.

Among the currencies that would be displayed at the exhibition are those used many decades ago and have since been withdrawn from circulation, including the Sh2 coin and Sh5 note that were first produced in 1966 when the CBK was established.

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the intended numismatic exhibition will be launched on September 14 in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya.

“The exhibition will provide CBK an opportunity to showcase various historical and current currencies as well as provide information on events about the past 50 years of central banking in Kenya,” Dr Njoroge said in a statement.

Before independence, the Indian Rupee and the British East Africa Shilling were the most widely-accepted currencies.


But soon after country attained self-rule, the CBK was established and would in 1966 produce the first Kenyan currencies including the 5, 10 and 50 cent coins, which were the smallest denominations.

Effectively, the EA Shilling, which had the same value as the Kenyan equivalent ,was withdrawn. Instead, limited versions of Sh100 and Sh250 coins called Kenyan Gold Proof, were produced in the same year but not intended for circulation.

Records indicate 1,000 Sh250-worth coins were minted and 7,500 pieces of Sh100 golden coins.

The coins were made of 6.5 grammes and 16 grammes of pure gold, for the Sh100 and Sh250, respectively. The mintage was to mark the 75 birthday celebrations for the then President Jomo Kenyatta.

It is these very rare denominations that CBK plans to put up for display in the exhibition that is intended to help in telling the story of the regulatory body.

Njoroge said there would be a section dedicated to young learners, who might have missed all the withdrawn coins and notes.

CBK is also planning to host a one-day regional banking symposium on central banking.

It will be a high-level forum that will bring together local and international economists, bankers and researchers to engage on emerging issues in central banking.

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