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Zambia to rebase currency by 2013

The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has set 1 January 2013 as the change-over date seeing the introduction of the newly rebased Zambian currency

Zambia’s central bank announced, "The rebased currency shall become legal tender on 1 January 1 2013 and accordingly will be accepted as a medium of exchange in the Republic of Zambia.”

In January this year, the Zambian government revealed the financial plans to divide the kwacha by 1,000 and reintroduce coins for lower value denominations.

Minister of finance and national planning Alexander Chikwanda explained, “A rebased Zambian kwacha will address the costs associated with an accumulated loss in the value of the kwacha experienced during episodes of high inflation that undermined the kwacha’s basic function as a store of value, medium of exchange and standard of value.”

From the start of 2013, all financial institutions and facilities, including all bank balances and ATMs, will be mandated to utilise and distribute the rebased currency, which has a new currency code ZMW.

A six month transitional period, however, will see both the old and rebased kwacha being used simultaneously. Additionally, after the deadline of 30 June 2013, banks will continue to freely exchange the old currency for at least the following 18 months.

With only a short time until the change over, BoZ has created technical guidelines to help inform the necessary companies and organisations.

"All business entities are required to commence preparations for the adaptation of all systems and infrastructure, accounting packages, related software and infrastructure, which must be completed in readiness for the change over date of 1 January 2013,” read the BoZ statement.


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