The Gambia is playing host to a week-long “Regional Workshop on Banknote and Currency Management and Forecasting in Central Banks”, organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), in cooperation with De La Rue.
The organisers said the 7-11 March event could not have come at a more auspicious time, given the problems of currency management in the sub-region and the urgent need to chart a new direction consistent with best practices, in order to engender greater efficiency and minimize the cost of printing and minting currency, PANA report from here today Monday.
“Currency management is a critical aspect of central banks’ functions. The integrity of the currency and efficient supply of banknotes are indicators of a well-functioning central bank, especially in predominantly cash-based economies such as ours,” Amadou Colley, the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) said.
Colley said issuing and destroying cash, maintaining note quality and guarding against counterfeit notes is a complex business, which is increasingly costly.
This, he said, has compelled some organizations to respond to this growing trend by outsourcing currency sorting.
However, he said the International Organization for Standardization’s (IOS) certification ensures that minimum international quality standards are adhered to in the systems and procedures followed in an organization.
“Quality implies doing right things the right way first time and every time,” he said, adding “for currency managers, note designs present a series of interlocking challenges.
“New designs must win public acceptance, incorporate requisite security features and meet durability and machine processing standards.”
Earlier, the Director General WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, said no central bank function was more visible than currency management, stressing that this integral central bank function should be efficient, meet the demand and also present minimal issues, which may damage the reputation of the country.
Ekpo said: “recent developments in photographic and computer technology, as well as printing devices, have made the production of counterfeit money relatively easy, thereby increasing the potential threat.”
According to him, the major challenge to protect currencies from counterfeiting has increasingly become more dependent on partnerships between law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and central banks and with the security printing industry and high-grade supplier’s community.
This partnership, he said, bridges geographic, jurisdictional, cultural and organizational divisions, which were once impediments towards providing comprehensive and co-coordinated solutions for combating modern financial crimes.
WAIFEM said the course will cover topics such as New Challenges in Currency Management; New Directions in Banknote Design; Security Features Against Counterfeiting; Forecasting the Demand for Banknotes; and Country Case Studies on Currency Management.