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Somalia central bank chief seeking to create new currency to replace shilling


Somalia’s Central Bank governor wants to create and circulate a new currency to replace the Somali Shilling which is less and less used.

The tattered shilling notes still in circulation – worth about 4 U.S Dollar cents – are emblematic of Somalia’s descent since 1991, when Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled by warlords who carved up the country into personal fiefdoms, reports Reuters.

“We absolutely need a new currency,” said Ali, who this time became central bank governor in 2013, adding that the existing notes “are old, they’re torn, they’re dirty and they’re fake.”

With Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu is changing fast and rapidly recovering from war, economic experts warn that Ali will need to do more than just printing new banknotes, as most Somalis currently use mobile money systems to carry out their daily business transactions in dollars.

Hotels in the capital have sprouted from the rubble since African Union troops wrested control of the city from Al Shabaab Islamist militants in 2011. The Somali government, however, has struggled to build a financial system and lift the country’s 12 million people out of poverty.

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