President Uhuru Kenyatta and CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge have unveiled the new generation coins that begin to circulate today.
Uhuru on Tuesday unveiled the new currency as stipulated under the 2010 Constitution.
The currency becomes legal tender today with the issuance of new coins as it has now been gazetted.
"I am happy that the public views were considered. I am also informed that the coins contain features for visually impaired persons," he said.
The new 20 shillings coins. /COURTESY
"A currency is not just an exchange of value but they present a unique way of history and the celebration of our culture."
Uhuru said they depict an aspect that best describes Kenya.
The new 10 shillings coin./COURTESY
Following the passing of the 2010 Constitution, the CBK was mandated to spearhead the production and roll out of the new currency notes.
The Constitution prohibits the use of a person’s portrait on currencies meaning the upgrade is expected to have new features.
Notes currently in circulation have the images of first President Jomo Kenyatta and his successor Daniel Arap Moi.
The new-look notes are fashioned to enable the visually-impaired to use them.
They are expected to be in notes of Sh50, Sh100, Sh200, Sh500 and Sh1,000.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and CBK Governor Patrick Njorge announce the new-generation coins that have been gazetted and will begin to circulate on Tuesday, December 11, 2018./PSCU
Introduction of the new currency should be followed by an immense public campaign to teach citizens on the rollout, leading to the withdrawal of the current notes in circulation.
The president said the choice of the main theme 'Kenya Reborn and Prosperity' is a true reflection of the spirit of our Constitution and Kenya’s development goals as outlined in Vision 2030.
The President said the new generation coins honour the wishes of the people of Kenya in regard to their national currency, as expressed in the Constitution.
"I am happy to note that the public aspirations and views were considered by the Central Bank of Kenya when selecting the features to be depicted in our National coinage," he said.
He also thanked the Central Bank of Kenya management for including, in the new coins, features that make them more accessible to visually impaired persons.
"A nation’s currency is not merely an instrument for exchange of value. Beyond being a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account, the motifs and design elements in currencies present a unique way of recording history, celebrating a country’s diverse culture or natural environment," the President said.
The President thanked the management of CBK for successfully steering the banking sector, monetary policy and the national payments system in a challenging global and domestic environment.
The Head of State said the Kenya shilling has remained fairly stable and competitive thanks to the hard work and commitment by CBK.
"Equally encouraging the banking industry has been vibrant, competitive and most innovative in the continent. This has gone a long way to support our social and economic transformation agenda that is articulated in the Vision 2030 National Blueprint."
The President said robust public institutions are a prerequisite for effective public service delivery and the realisation of sustained development for any nation, Kenya being no exemption.
He said independence of institutions is a necessity for the success of every nation but the institutions should operate knowing that they are not independent of Government.
"We achieve positive outcomes when public institutions, like the Central Bank of Kenya,pursue their Constitutional and statutory mandates in an environment of liberty and their constitutionally guaranteed operational independence," the president said.