Currency in Zambia

The Zambian kwacha, first introduced in 1968, is the currency unit of Zambia (English Zambia). He holds the ISO 4217 code ZMW (numerically: 967), abbreviation and symbol denominated K.

History of the Zambian currency

In the course of a currency reform decided on 01/01/2013, the previously valid currency (ISO Code ZMK) was devalued at a ratio of 1000: 1 in order to counteract inflation (so-called “rebashing”).

In a transitional phase, you could still pay with the old money until June 30, 2013, since then this is no longer valid. In addition to Zambia, you also pay with the kwacha in Malawi.

The reform made it necessary to print new bills and to mint new coins: banknotes are now available from 2 to 100 Kwacha, whereas before that, a value of 50,000 Kwacha could be combined on a single note. Of course, there were also significant changes to the coins. In this regard, you pay with 5 ngwee up to a maximum of 1 kwacha, the latter equals 100 ngwee.

Due to the constant inflation in the country, many different coins have appeared over the years and disappeared just as quickly. Due to the increasing worthlessness itself, the same increased with regard to the use in daily payment transactions. Nonetheless, or perhaps because of that, Zambia is the first African country to issue polymer banknotes. This premiere took place on September 26th, 2003, 500 and 1000 Kwacha were printed on this plastic. Now this is done exclusively on paper again.

The namesake of the currency is the Bemba or Babemba people, who mainly live in the Republic of Zambia. In their local language (Bemba), this means something like ‘dawn’ or ‘dawn’ and thus alludes to the slogan “The new dawn of freedom”, the expression of a nationalist movement in Zambia.

The osprey is the country’s symbol and is depicted on the face of the currency. On the back you can see the Statue of Liberty from Lusaka, the capital of the state in the south of Africa.

Exchange into the currency of Zambia

It is advisable, due to the frequent fluctuations in exchange rates, to make an exchange at home. Particularly with larger sums, if you are informed in good time, you can achieve a more secure payout and usually a higher rate.

All travelers should currently be particularly careful when changing money so that they are not handed any bills or coins of the old currency.