Information about currency: Kwacha

Kwacha (1966 - present)
Currency NameKwacha
System1 Kwacha = 100 Ngwee
ISO CodeZMW
Description

The Kwacha is the currency of Zambia. It is subdivided into 100 Ngwee. The name kwacha derives from the Nyanja, Bemba, and Tonga language word for "dawn", alluding to the Zambian nationalist slogan of a "new dawn of freedom". The name ngwee translates as "bright" in the Nyanja language.

After independence, the Bank of Zambia issued the first Zambian currency, the Zambian Pound, in 1964. The issued paper bills and coins were of similar denominations as these used before independence, which were based on the British pre-decimal system.

On 1st July 1966, the parliament approved the arrangements of the decimal currency system, changing the main currency unit to Kwacha, with one kwacha being equal to 100 ngwee. The exchange rate was set to one kwacha equivalent to ten Zambian shillings, or one half of a Zambian pound. Thus, by 16th January 1968, all Zambian pound notes and coins were removed from circulation and replaced by the new kwacha notes, and ngwee coins. The Zambian pound notes of 10 shillings, 1, and 5 pounds were changed into 1, 2 and 10 kwacha respectively, a note of 50 ngwee was issued to replace the old 5 shillings coin, alongside a new note of 20 kwacha. Ngwee coins with the denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 ngwee replacing the existing 1, 3, 6 pence, 1, and 2 shillings coins respectively. The Zambian pound notes, and coins ceased to be a legal tender on 31st January 1974.

Throughout the years, the Zambian currency suffered high rates of inflation forcing the Bank of Zambia to introduce high value denominations in 2003, including 20,000 and 50,000 kwacha bills to facilitate transactions. In 2013, a new, re-denominated kwacha was introduced, at a rate of 1 second kwacha = 1,000 first kwacha.

Period: First Kwacha (1966 - 2013)
NameFirst Kwacha
Period1966 - 2013
Description

The Kwacha is the currency of Zambia. It is subdivided into 100 Ngwee. The name kwacha derives from the Nyanja, Bemba, and Tonga language word for "dawn", alluding to the Zambian nationalist slogan of a "new dawn of freedom". The name ngwee translates as "bright" in the Nyanja language.

After independence, the Bank of Zambia issued the first Zambian currency, the Zambian Pound, in 1964. The issued paper bills and coins were of similar denominations as these used before independence, which were based on the British pre-decimal system.

On 1st July 1966, the parliament approved the arrangements of the decimal currency system, changing the main currency unit to Kwacha, with one kwacha being equal to 100 ngwee. The exchange rate was set to one kwacha equivalent to ten Zambian shillings, or one half of a Zambian pound. Thus, by 16th January 1968, all Zambian pound notes and coins were removed from circulation and replaced by the new kwacha notes, and ngwee coins. The Zambian pound notes of 10 shillings, 1, and 5 pounds were changed into 1, 2 and 10 kwacha respectively, a note of 50 ngwee was issued to replace the old 5 shillings coin, alongside a new note of 20 kwacha. Ngwee coins with the denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 ngwee replacing the existing 1, 3, 6 pence, 1, and 2 shillings coins respectively. The Zambian pound notes, and coins ceased to be a legal tender on 31st January 1974.

Throughout the years, the Zambian currency suffered high rates of inflation forcing the Bank of Zambia to introduce high value denominations in 2003, including 20,000 and 50,000 kwacha bills to facilitate transactions. In 2013, a new, re-denominated kwacha was introduced, at a rate of 1 second kwacha = 1,000 first kwacha.

Period: Second Kwacha (2013 - present)
NameSecond Kwacha
Period2013 - present
ISO CodeZMW
Description

The Kwacha is the currency of Zambia. It is subdivided into 100 Ngwee. The name kwacha derives from the Nyanja, Bemba, and Tonga language word for "dawn", alluding to the Zambian nationalist slogan of a "new dawn of freedom". The name ngwee translates as "bright" in the Nyanja language.

The currency was introduced on 1st July 1966, replacing the earlier Zambian Pound.

Throughout the years, the Zambian currency suffered high rates of inflation. As a result, in 2013, a new re-denominated kwacha was introduced, at a rate of 1 second kwacha = 1,000 first kwacha.

Coin Types in currency: Kwacha (2)
Coin TypeTypeFromToSub-typesCoins
Silver Ounce (1 oz) Non-Circulating Legal Tender 1998 2003 10
Unsorted Fantasy 6
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Kwacha: Details
Issued ByZambia
From1966
To
Kwacha: Users
CountryPeriodFromTo
Flag of Zambia Zambia First Kwacha 1966 2013
Flag of Zambia Zambia Second Kwacha 2013