The Republic of Sierra Leone State House

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The Hon. Vice President
My Lord Chief Justice
Hon. Ministers & Members of Parliament
His Worship the Mayor of the Freetown Municipality
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps

The Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone
Deputy Governor and Past Governors of the Bank

Members of the Board of DirectorsManagement and Staff of the Bank of Sierra LeoneCurrency
Chief Executives of the Banking and Financial Sector
Representatives of the Private Sector
Members of the Fourth Estate
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to be here this morning to launch the new resized currency bank notes for our country. This launching ceremony marks yet another milestone in the annals of Central Banking in Sierra Leone. Following the attainment of independence in 1961, the country obtained monetary sovereignty with the establishment of the Bank of Sierra Leone on August 4th 1964. This development precipitated the introduction of the country's legal tender in "Leones and Cents" as a replacement to the British West African "Pounds and Pence".

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, any significant national development should serve as a rallying point for strengthening our resolve to develop our country and unite its people. The launching of these new Leone notes today should be seen in the same light. The Leone was created as a symbol of national pride and political identity to consolidate the country's independence. Its judicious use and careful handling could lay a solid foundation for stabilizing our economy. We must therefore treat it with respect and care.

Regrettably, the handling of our national currency has been poor raising great concern not only to the Bank but also to the entire nation. This has entailed high costs in replacement printing of soiled and mutilated notes. The national currency has also been subjected to increased counterfeiting particularly the Le5, 000 and Le10, 000 notes. I am convinced however, that the launching of these new notes will go a long way towards addressing these concerns.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, this occasion also gives me an opportunity to emphasize the need for all agents of development in this country to unite in confronting the challenges of the 21st century. It is important, that we periodically review the traditional roles of institutions of development with a view to keeping them in harmony with the needs of our people. The Central Bank is no exception. The introduction of the new re-sized bank notes today is a demonstration of the Bank's responsiveness not only to the challenges of currency management but also to the needs of the people of Sierra Leone. Through its professional expertise, the bank can serve and must serve as a useful partner in our efforts to achieve economic and social development for our nation.

We on our part as a nation, should have love, pride and respect for our currency. There is only one Sierra Leone and only one currency which, according to the laws of the country, serve as our legal tender. I want to assure you that my Government will support the Bank of Sierra Leone in its efforts to maintain the credibility of the Leone.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as we start our 50Th year of Independence, I now have great pleasure to formally launch the family of resized bank notes dated 27th April, 2010, in denominations of one thousand, two thousand, five thousand and ten thousand Leones. I thank you all.

His Excellency, The President,
Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
May 14th 2010

EXTRACT: The national currency has also been subjected to increased counterfeiting particularly the Le5, 000 and Le10, 000 notes. I am convinced however, that the launching of these new notes will go a long way towards addressing these concerns

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