The Sudden Currency Change in Eritrea and its Effect!

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Drs. Tsegezab Gebregergis, London, November 5, 2015


Every sovereign country in the world today has its own universally accepted currency. So does Eritrea.

The Nakfa was introduced in November 1997 as  the first official and universally accepted currency and sole medium of exchange in Eritrea. As is the case most world currencies’ banknotes are represented by historical figures and national symbols of the countries that issue them. Banknotes are legally enforceable and accepted in the world of business transactions throughout the countries which print and circulate them. However, some currencies are also accepted as a medium of exchange through commonly agreed deals on the basis of mutual benefit outside the territories of their birthplace.

What’s more; almost every existing currency has a unique combination of design, paper, symbols and inks which differentiate them from other currencies. Likewise, Nakfa, the new Eritrean currency, functions not only as a medium of exchange, but acts as a symbol of Eritrean sovereignty, independence, and the gallant resistance the Eritrean people have endured throughout the bitter 30-year Eritrean independence struggle. Thus, maintaining the symbol that Nakfa represents, and what it stands for, should be a point of great pride for Eritrea and its people.

Why do Governments Abruptly Change Existing Currency?

One of the urgent and strategic reasons (necessity) why governments suddenly decide to change their currency is the existence of widespread counterfeiting of money for criminal purposes ( needless to state it, the existence of widespread counterfeit money eventually makes a currency worthless). The hoarding and stashing of vast sums of money for political and economic reasons is another factor, along with money laundering and other illegal activities which direly affect the economy and politics of the country concerned. These constitute some of the reasons why governments announce a change of currency.

An analysis and explanation will now be provided as to why the PFDJ regime has suddenly decided to change the Eritrean currency.

The Reasons behind the PFDJ Regime’s Swift Currency Change

Eri-TV has just announced [yesterday] in its Tigrinya programme that Eritrea has introduced a new currency. The telecaster also announced the details of the new directives governing how Eritreans can and should dispose of the old currency in exchange for the new currency within a specified period. The Eri-TV announcement appears to have created panic with an earthshaking effect among the corrupt groups and elements that have gathered vast wealth in a short span and have hoarded immense sums of money in their homes and other secret locations at the expense of millions of poverty stricken Eritrean people.

Obviously, since a country cannot adopt a new currency overnight, and initiate and declare the rules and regulations on how its people should dispose of the old currency and exchange it for the new one, the PFDJ government must have been busy for some time secretly drawing up a plan for the production and introduction of the new Nakfa. The preparation of special banknote paper incorporates security features; the design of the notes and the process of bringing these elements together and then printing the money, takes at least a year, and not 24 hours, as some uninformed elements might think.

In other words, the idea of secretly changing the Eritrean currency must have been the brainchild of a committed anti-people PFDJ economist who wanted to primarily balance and correct the decades-long mismanagement of the Eritrean economy and severely punish greedy and corrupt sections of Eritrean society – groups and individuals who have stashed millions, if not billions, of Nakfa from corrupt practices including human trafficking and , along with other contraband and illegal business dealings. The major aim of the currency change is, however, to save the regime from impending trouble and thus also to create a situation in which the anti-people PFDJ regime profit enormously both politically and monetarily in the process.

Thus, Eritreans struggling for human rights, democracy and justice to prevail in Eritrea should welcome the major shattering effect which the sudden change of the Eritrean currency will have on corrupt groups and individuals, and others engaged in corrupt practices and illegal dealings at the expense of the suffering people.

In the meantime, what is urgently needed in Eritrea today is to plot secretly for the major cleansing of the corrupt and anti-democratic and illegal political practices and repressive policies of the PFDJ government. However, these radical political cleansing operations cannot be conducted in today’s Eritrea without first overthrowing the tyrannical PFDJ regime itself.

Let us thus work together and struggle in unity to hasten the overthrow and demise of the tyrannical PFDJ regime.

The Eritrean people shall prevail!