The Republic of Zambia sits at the crossroads of Central, Southern, and Eastern Africa, neighboring Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, and Namibia. This landlocked nation gained its independence from British rule on October 24, 1964, with the then prime minister Kenneth Kaunda as the inaugural president. Zambia possesses ample natural resources such as fertile land, freshwater, wildlife, and minerals. It is also among the fastest countries in the world with a reformed economy. Read along to learn about the Zambia Kwacha currency.

Map Of Zambia | Source: WorldAtlas

Introduction of the Zambia Kwacha Currency 

Zambia 1 Pound | 1964 | P-2a | Source: Banknote World Educational

Zambia’s currency is the Zambian Kwacha; its introduction takes place in 1968, it replaces the Zambian pound. The first kwacha series banknotes were in denominations of 50 ngwees, and 1, 2, 10, and also 20 kwacha. Printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co Limited, these paper bills featured president Kenneth Kaunda in addition to the coat of arms of the nation on the obverse. Their reverse illustrates the Zambian lifestyle.  

Zambia 20 Kwacha | 1968 | P-8a | Source: Banknote World Educational

The First Polymer Notes 

In 2003, the bank issued its first polymer banknotes in denominations of 500 and 1,000 kwacha. However, these notes were immediately withdrawn the day after they were initially released since their serial number can be wiped out easily. In November 2003 new issues bearing the same date but using a new ink formula begin to circulate. Later, a sudden discovery occurs, these new polymer notes fade earlier than expected, causing the printer to shoulder the cost of replacement.  

Zambia 1,000 Kwacha | 2005 | P-44d | Polymer | Source: Banknote World

The New Zambia Kwacha 

In 2013, the Kwacha goes through a process of redenomination due to its constant devaluation. The Bank of Zambia introduced the new kwacha as the legal tender of the country. 3 zeros are no longer present on the old kwacha. These notes are printed on paper and equipped with advanced security features such as a holographic LEAD stripe, a windowed security thread with demetallized text, and a watermark that shows a fish eagle and electrotype denomination and eagle. Common design elements on their obverse are the African fish eagle and also the Zambian arms. Meanwhile, the reverse design consists of the Freedom Statue in Lusaka. It also features an animal and also an activity-based theme.  

Zambia 100 Kwacha | 2018 | P-61b | Source: Banknote World Educational

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