!Gawaxab signs first banknote since becoming central bank governor in 2020
The Bank of Namibia introduced a slightly modified ten dollar note on Friday, now featuring for the first time the signature of the current governor, Mr Johannes !Gawaxab.
The bank described the signature as an enhanced security feature and will eventually impose this on all future reprints of all other denominations.
The governor’s signature is printed in raised ink on the front of the note while the year of the reprint, 2021, is shown on the back. This does not mean that all previous banknotes still in circulation and signed by the former governor, Mr Ipumbu Shiimi, are no longer legal tender. They continue to be legal currency and will only be gradually and systematically bled out of the system as new reprints of the various denominations are ordered.
Seeing that printing banknotes is extremely expensive and given the very poor economic conditions in Namibia, it will take a very long time before the central bank can afford to replace all the paper currency in circulation.
The ten dollar note was first issued in 1993 with the introduction of the Namibia Dollar. The bank said of the ten dollar note there were more than 10 million notes in circulation last year, giving a rough idea of just how long it will take to replace them all, let alone replacing all the other denominations.