According to a press release, on 14 September 2020, the National Bank of Ethiopia introduced new 10-, 50-, and 100-birr notes which are like the preceding issues, but with new color schemes and enhanced security features. The preceding issues will circulate in parallel for a period of three months, after which time they will be demonetized. Additionally, a new 200-birr note has been issued for the first time to meet the demand for larger denominations due to inflation. The 5-birr note will be replaced by a coin soon. Ethiopia has spent 3.7 billion birrs (US$101.2 million) to print the new currency.
According to a press release, “the currency change is aimed at gathering currency circulating informally and outside of financial institutions; curb corruption and contraband and support financial institutions confront currency shortage.”
While Ethiopia has never had a symbol to represent its currency, a new symbol has been designed and will be soon unveiled to symbolize the birr.