Deadline Announced to Conclude Changing Old Birr Banknotes in Tigray

ADDIS ABEBA – The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) announced on Saturday a deadline for changing old banknotes in Tigray regional state.

The government unveiled new currencies in early September, last year, in a bid to shore up the economy and slow the hoarding of currency and illegal trade activities.

While the changing banknote ended in many parts of the country, the old currency is still circulating in Tigray after the process interrupted during the rule of law operation prompted by the then ruling party of the region attack on the federal military base.

NBE resumed the demonetization process on December 31, 2020 after branches of commercial banks reopened in the region. Banks are still changing the old birr currency..

“The process has ended in the country with the exception of the Tigray region,” said the NBE in a statement on Saturday.

The timetable for currency change has been extended in the region to allow people in possession of 100,000 birr and less old banknotes to change.

Banks have so far managed to collect much of the old banknotes estimated to circulate in the region, CBE’s statement said.

Considering the low amount of the old currency there, the central bank said “it has become necessary to put a deadline on timetable to exchange the old currency”..

Branches of Commercial banks are now given a 12-day period to officially conclude changing of the old currencies starting from Monday, March 8, 2021.

“We strongly urge residents in the region to change the old currencies in their possession by going to the nearest branches of commercial banks during this period,” the Bank said, adding it “will be the last notice”.


Featured Image: A women counting Ethiopia’s Old birr currencies which are still in circulation in the region despite in small level. [Photo File].