Ethiopia issues new currency notes to choke illicit financial flows

The Ethiopian government has issued a higher denomination banknote as part of its efforts to address the problem of significant illicit financial flows (IFFs) out of the country.

The new note, alongside more secure versions of notes in existing denominations, also aims to reduce the circulation of counterfeit currency.

New and upgraded notes

Ethiopia is issuing a high denomination 200 Birr (US$5.4) banknote for the first time in its history.

The country is also replacing its existing 10, 15 and 100 Birr notes. The new notes employ enhanced security features with the aim of curbing financing of illegal activities and counterfeit note production.

Informal to formal economy

Only around one-third of Ethiopian adults have access to banking facilities and a massive amount of money is circulated outside the country’s regulated financial system.

The new notes are expected to play a key role in government efforts to transform Ethiopia’s large informal economy into a formal one.

This would also enhance the government’s capacity to collect taxes, which in turn would help expand public expenditure and investment in infrastructure projects.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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