Since the Central Bank’s decision to cease the use of old banknotes of 5,000 and 10,000 BIF, people are facing difficulties purchasing goods and services as the old banknotes are not being accepted on the market, and the new ones are not readily available.
The withdrawal of the old banknotes dated July 04, 2018, has caused difficulties regarding fluidity of commercial activities. The new banknotes dated November 07, 2022, have been put into circulation from June 07, 2023, but they are not sufficient to meet market demand.
The people on the market are requesting new banknotes or small denominations, which are becoming scarce as well.
As per, Governor Dieudonné Murengerantwari of the Central Bank, the withdrawal of the old banknotes of 5,000 and 10,000 BIF is to deal with the issue of a rising informal circulation of banknotes, leading to a shortage in the coffers of banks and microfinance institutions, destabilizing payment and fund transfer activities in the formal circulation.
Before the measure was taken, President Evariste Ndayishimiye warned to render worthless banknotes as he said there were people who stole from the public treasury and hold large quantities of banknotes in their homes. At multiple times he urged them to deposit the money back into the banks or risk rendering them valueless, what he is now up to.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has launched a campaign to provide residents across the country with no access to bank services a way for exchanging their 5,000 or 10,000 point banknotes. The initiative, which began on June 11th and ends on June 18th, involves sending agents to all regions of the country.
Launching the campaign, Désiré Musharitse, the first vice governor of the Central Bank said that old notes will continue to be accepted until June 17th and urges everyone to accept them as payment until then.