Central Bank Issued E6.8 Billion Notes in 2023

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) has reported the issuance of notes amounting to E6.8 billion during the financial year that ended in March 2024. This figure mirrors the value of notes issued in the previous year (2022), indicating a steady state in currency issuance.

The CBE has maintained a robust approach to currency management, with the total currency in circulation rising to E1.35 billion, up from E1.24 billion the year before. This increase reflects a growing economy and the bank’s efforts to ensure adequate currency supply.

“The steady value of printed notes indicates robust public confidence in our currency,” the CBE Governor, Dr. Phil Mnisi said when delivering His Annual Monetary Policy Statement on Thursday morning at The Royal Villas.

In a move to update and secure its currency, the CBE reprinted the E200 banknote, released on September 6, 2023. The updated features include the signatures of the current Governor and the Minister of Finance, the bank’s name reflecting the country’s name change from Swaziland to Eswatini, and the printing date of the note.

According to the Governor, the CBE has also been proactive in managing dye-stained bank notes, a consequence of ATM bombings. The discovery of such notes has declined due to ongoing public awareness campaigns.

The CBE advises the public not to accept these notes and to report them to authorities, as they are presumed to be proceeds of crime.

Furthermore, the bank also reported an increase in coin issuance, with E38 million worth of coins distributed, up from E34 million in the previous year. The CBE’s coin management efficiency project, including the introduction of coin vending machines at retail outlets, has shown positive results.

Since December 2021, a total of E14.7 million worth of coins has been collected, with E6.5 million collected in the 2023-2024 financial year alone.

The CBE celebrated its 50th anniversary by designing and producing a commemorative E50 banknote and coins. While the E50 coin is not intended for circulation, the E50 note has been sanctioned for public use and will soon enter circulation. The CBE remains vigilant in monitoring the financial landscape, addressing emerging risks to maintain stability. Despite global and regional challenges, the financial system has shown resilience, with the bank continuing to use all instruments at its disposal to support sustainable economic growth.

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