Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Specimen of the new Sudanese one Pound note

The Central Bank of Sudan has started circulation of the new Sudanese pound that is to replace the current Sudanese dinar. This measure is part of the peace agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and the SPLA, that ended a 20-year old civil war.

The dinar was viewed in the south as part of an attempted "Arabisation" of Sudan by the previous government and was not in circulation in areas controlled by the southern rebel movement. Several alternative currencies, including old Sudanese pounds were used instead.

According to Sabir Mohamed Al Hassan, the governor of the Central Bank of Sudan, the dinar will remain in circulation, along with the pound, for an interim period of six months before it is discontinued on July 1, 2007.

The conversion rate set by the Central bank is 1 Sudanese pound equals 100 Sudanese dinars, and 1 piaster is equivalent to 1 dinar. A U.S. dollar trades for about 200 dinars.

The Central Bank said that the new currency design will reflect Sudan's peace vision, unity in diversity, civilization, natural resources and economic progress. Several themes were avoided in the new design including human portraits, references to wars and conflict, and religious and ethnic symbols.

The change is expected to cost over US $150 million. Hassan said that the expected international assistance in meeting the cost was not forthcoming and that Sudan's oil revenue was used instead, Reuters reports.

Shipments of the new currency have been sent to the south, where it is to be introduced first.