On 3 May 2010, Bank of Uganda unveiled a new series of redesigned and smaller banknotes which will go into circulation on 17 May. The new notes are in the existing denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 50,000 shillings, as well as a new denomination: 2,000 shillings (US$0.95).
Besides a harmonized banknote design that depict Uganda’s rich historical, natural and cultural heritage, the new notes bear improved security features and are smaller in size than the existing series which will remain legal tender. The common security features for the 1,000-, 2,000-, and 5,000-shilling notes are a watermark, a color-change image, and a raised effect on the surface to help the visually-impaired people differentiate denominations. The notes also feature a windowed thread that changes from red to green when the note is titled. The notes also bear a hidden irridescent pattern.
The bank hired professional artists and designers led by Gen. Elly Tumwine which explains the Ugandan look as depicted by the main images which constitute pots and ornaments common in Ugandan homes. The notes were printed by De La Rue, the world’s largest commercial security printer.
Bank of Uganda chief Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said the new notes did not constitute a currency reform, nor were they dictated by politics. The redesign, he said, was driven by the need to comply with international practices and to beat counterfeiters. “Uganda is the first country in Africa to introduce ultra –modern security feature called SPARK,” an optical security feature from KBA-GIORI first used on Kazakhstan’s 5,000-tengé commemorative of 2008.
Courtesy of Ny Andry Ranaivosolo and Tuyet Nhung- Dieter Eheim Le.