Gambia’s reserve bank announced it will be printing new bank notes that will see the country’s ex-authoritarian ruler’s face taken off the West African nation’s currency.
Yahya Jammeh printed his face on the Gambian dalasis in 2015 after criticizing the country’s first post-colonial leader, Sir Dawda Jawara for printing his face on banknotes when it was printed in 1971. He removed Jawara’s face putting locals until 2015.
“For us, we also don’t want to see Yahya Jammeh’s head on the Gambian dalasi but it is very expensive to print currency. When you issue millions you have to charge millions to your profit and loss accounts,” said Bakary Jammeh, Central Bank Governor.
“So the (Jammeh’s) face is gradually facing out because notes that come in here do not go out again. And the new stock we will print will take us the whole of 2018 without his head.”
Jammeh, a former soldier, ruled the small English-speaking West African country from 1994 to January 2017, but now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
His regime is accused by human rights defenders of systematically torturing political opponents and journalists, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances.
Gambia’s economy is expected to grow by three percent. The country’s foreign exchange reserve has increased five-folds, covering four months of imports and its debts have been reduced to 112 percent from 124 percent of the GDP.