The National Bank of Eritrea recently issued a legal notice No. 124/2015 that all Nakfa currency notes in circulation must be exchanged for new government-issued notes. This decision by the country's central financial institution is expected to have a major positive impact on the economy.
The nationwide currency replacement program is not meant to change the value of the money, as the exchange will be on a one-to-one basis. Instead, it was aimed at stimulating the economy by regulating circulation of the national currency.
The redemption program have started since 18th November and will continue until the end of this year. Effective the first day of January 2016, the old Nakfa currency notes will have no value.
The new Nakfa notes have similar designs but less color contrast than the old notes. With some added security features, the new currency notes have a printing date of 24 May 2015 while the 100 Nakfa bills are printed on 24 May 2011.
Eritreans overwhelmingly welcome the introduction of the new currency notes. However, individuals and organization who were working outside of the formal economy by hoarding large sums of money for informal foreign currency exchange, money laundering, counterfeiting, and contraband purposes have reasons to worry as the new measures will squeeze them out and turn their Nakfa empire into a worthless pile of paper.