The Reserve Bank of Malawi has introduced a 5,000 Kwacha banknote, reflecting the need for a higher denomination in the country’s economy. According to the Currency Management Policy of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, the highest denomination in the country should not account for more than 60% of the total value of currency in circulation. The existing K2000 banknote has exceeded over 80% of the value of currency in circulation. For that reason, the Reserve Bank has introduced the 5,000 Kwacha note.

In addition to the new 5,000 Kwacha note, the country’s 2,000 Kwacha banknote has been upgraded to include advanced security features and a new design on the back of the note. Until the introduction of the 5,000 Kwacha note the 2,000 Kwacha note was the highest denomination in Malawi. Both new notes were issued starting 24 February 2022.

Both banknotes are printed on paper and measure 135 x 66mm. They are the latest additions to the 2021 series of banknotes.

5,000 Kwacha banknote: Design and security features

Front Side

Images on the front of the blue-themed note depict Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, former Prime Minister and President of Malawi. Also shown is a map of Malawi. Security features include:

  • SPARK® Live security ink (in the form of a fish) which changes colour when the note is tilted vertically.
  • Holographic stripe: Louisenthals LEAD micromirror foil, 10mm wide. The bright, dynamic vertical stripe shows an animated sun (with letters ‘RBM’) and the true colour portrait of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
  • Two raised squares the benefit of the blind and visually impaired.

Back Side

The back side of the note features the Reserve Bank of Malawi logo and an illustration of the bank’s Blantyre branch office. Security features include:

  • A 5mm wide Galaxy® security thread works with 3D movement and changes colour from magenta to green when the note is tilted.

2,000 Kwacha banknote: Design and security features

The 2,000 Kwacha banknote looks much like the previous version, but with some different images and added security features.

Front Side

The front side features a portrait of Reverend John Chilembwe and a map of Malawi. A SPARK® Live security feature is integrated in the fish image. The (improved) holographic stripe is located on the far left. Two raised circles have been added for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired.

Back Side

The primary image on the reverse side is of the Blantyre Magistrate Court (instead of the Malawi University of Science and Technology on the previous issue). Also shown are a map of Malawi, the bank logo, a silhouette of people carrying baskets atop their heads, and balance scales. The note includes a 4 mm-wide green-to-gold Rollingstar Cube windowed security thread.


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