The Republic of Kenya is an Eastern African country enclosed by Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Indian Ocean. The country serves as the center for trade and finance in the East Africa region. Despite being challenged by corruption, Kenya’s economy that relies on agriculture and tourism is one of the leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Because of the government’s inability to maintain reforms and control corruption, Kenya’s Enhanced Structural Adjustment Program was suspended by the IMF in 1997. Although the organization resumed loans, assisting Kenya through a drought in 2000, it then again discontinued lending when the Kenyan government failed to combat corruption in 2001.
After some advancement in eliminating corruption, the Kibaki administration faced serious graft scandals in 2005 and 2006. This caused the World Bank and IMF to delay loans but eventually resumed lending even with the government’s failure to address corruption issues.
Kenya has been using the Kenyan shilling as its national currency since its introduction on September 14, 1966. Kenyan banknotes feature the country’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and the coat of arms. Kenyatta’s portrait was replaced when Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi became president on August 22, 1978. In 1993, the Central Bank of Kenya introduced 20-shilling banknotes in recognition of Kenyan athletes who won during the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992, highlighting William Tanui who is the sole athlete to take home the gold medal in the track competition.
When Mwai Kibaki replaced Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, a new set of banknotes was issued, featuring an old portrait of former President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Another family of notes was released in 2019 with themes that demonstrate the nation’s people, culture, and nature such as Green Energy, agriculture, social services, tourism, and governance. Each note depicts the Kenyatta International Conference Center on the front design. The reverse of each banknote features one of the big five animals.