AMID technology advancement which has made it easier for money forgers to tamper with security features on bank notes, the Central Bank has issued new bank notes with secure and sophisticated security features, expected to roll out in circulation in the first week of January, next year. The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Governor, Prof Benno Ndulu, announced the new changes for 500/-, 1,000/-, 2,000/- as well as 5,000/- and 10,000 bank notes, in Dar es Salaam on Friday. Addressing journalists and a number of high-ranking officials from commercial banks in the country, Governor Ndulu said the printing of the new notes which are smaller in size, compared to current notes, was done for various reasons, including advancement of technology which has made it easier for criminals to forge them. The central bank boss, flanked by senior BoT officials, mentioned other reasons for the change as filling the gap for new bank notes resulting from wearing out of notes that are in circulation, as well as strengthening of their durability and attractiveness. It has also been long since we printed the last bank notes way back in 2003 - the bank has a tradition of printing new notes in a period of between five and seven years, said Prof Ndulu. Swedens Crane AB, which manufactures papers for printing US Dollars, Euro and other international currencies, won a tender to print denomination in four lots of 10,000/-, 5,000/-, 2,000/- and 500/- while UKs De La Rue won the tender to print 1,000/- notes. According to the changes, the new 1,000/- will bear the portrait of Tanzanias first president and founder, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere while the 500/- bill will carry the portrait of first president of Zanzibar Sheikh Abeid Karume. The other notes will bear wild beasts, minerals and tourist attractions found in the country. Prof Ndulu said the bank would embark on a massive public awareness campaign on the new notes and allayed fears among the population that the current notes will still be in circulation until they are phased out. There is no need to rush and change the current bank notes - the new notes will roll into circulation alongside the old ones, he explained. Reacting to questions from journalists, Prof Ndulu ruled out plans to introduce new denomination at present, noting that there was no need. We will only consider introducing new denomination if the shilling depreciates sharply - the currency is not in such a bad situation, he declared. This is the seventh time the central bank prints new bank notes since 1966, with the latest printing being in 2003. The central bank also printed new notes in 1978, 1985, 1987 in addition to 1989, 1993 and 1997. The new currencies, printed from papers made from cotton 100 per cent, have new and sophisticated security features which make it hard for counterfeiters, according to Prof Ndulu. He mentioned such new features, which would complement on the longestablished water-mark as motion-mark and spark-mark. According to the central bank boss, the new notes have also been printed in consideration of special groups in the society especially the blind who will now be able to identify the new notes, thanks to special marks encrypted on the notes. The cost for printing the new notes less than the current notes due to high competition and technology advancement, the governor said.He was, however, not in a position to state the exact costs for the whole exercise, pledging to reveal the costs in the banks books of accounts. Germanys Giesecke & Devrient was the printer of Tanzanias bank notes until April 2009, when its contract with the BoT came to an end. Eleven companies had expressed interest in printing the new notes under international bidding, two of which opted out of the exercise, he said, adding that the BoT Tender Board then approved the nine companies to be issued with bid documents. Seven companies filled the documents satisfactorily while two companies did not return the bid documents at all; Crane AB of Sweden and De La Rue of UK won the tender to print the notes, where the former won four lots and the latter the remaining lot, he remarked. Prof Ndulu said the two companies signed the contract on July 24, last year, after which the BoT issued a Government Notice on its intention to print new bank notes. The tendering process, according to Prof Ndulu, was conducted in accordance with Public Procurement of 2004 and Public Procurement Regulations of 2005.