New leones, the country’s currency, went into circulation on Friday. They lose three zeros compared to the old ones. In order in particular to combat inflation, which is very high in the country.
The operation took almost a year to complete. The introduction of this new currency was announced on 12 August. Kelfala Murana Kallon, the governor of the country’s central bank, explained that the state spent too much money to print banknotes that were too large to fit in a wallet. The new banknotes are therefore smaller, which will reduce production costs.
Above all, these new leones do not have the same value as the old ones because they lose three zeros. A banknote of 10,000 old leones corresponds to ten new leones, or 476 CFA francs, about 72 euro cents. Simple transactions will therefore require far fewer banknotes than before, a real plus for Sierra Leone’s economy.
The goal is to fight inflation, which was 12% last year, and to restore confidence in the country’s currency. In order for the population to become familiar with these new coins and these new banknotes, the two currencies will coexist until the end of September. Before the transition to New Leone on October 1. The Sierra Leoneans then have one and a half months to exchange their old currency for the new one.