The Bank of Uganda launched new redesigned banknotes earlier in the week, which will now be gradually introduced into the local economy. The present 1,000 and 5,000 Uganda Shilling notes have been given a makeover, incorporating not only the latest security features and arguably given the notes a longer life span through new production processes, but in addition, a new note with the value of 2,000 Uganda Shillings was also launched, which is equivalent to approximately US$1.
It is understood that the present one- and five-thousand shilling notes will be progressively withdrawn from the market, as in any case their general appearance has suffered and in particular tourists were often seen shy of accepting old and tattered notes as change when purchasing items from local curio traders and shops. This did not give a good impression to tourists in particular, and urgent action was needed to remedy the situation.
Hence, the new notes will undoubtedly also raise the general fresh appearance Uganda gives to her visitors from abroad, a development which deserves a bouquet for the Bank of Uganda.
Meanwhile, in a related economic development, the government has released the latest inflation statistics, and proudly reports a fall from double-digit inflation, during the height of the global financial and economic crisis, to now “only” 5.9 percent, largely driven by consistently-rising fuel prices. The same trend was reported from the entire region, where inflation rates have fallen on a broad basis and economic growth forecasts were upped across the board.
These latest data were released earlier in the week by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics in conjunction with the Bank of Uganda and the Ministry of Finance. Economic growth for the 2010/11 period is expected to be in the range of between 7 and 8 percent, giving overall good prospects for the local economy in the near term and excellent prospects in the medium and long term when oil production starts and a huge chunk of national spending on the importation of fuels can then be dedicated to other crucial sectors like education, health, and infrastructural developments.