Effective April 8, 2024, Zimbabwe has a new family of banknotes nicknamed Zig, which stands for “Zimbabwe Gold.” The ZiG currency replaces a Zimbabwean dollar, the RTGS.

On April 5, 2024, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mushayavanhu announced the change and unveiled the new notes. He explained that the ZiG is set at a market-determined exchange rate determined by various foreign currencies, gold, and other precious metals.

A preliminary look at the ZiG banknotes

The new banknotes have been issued in the following ZiG denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200.

The new ZiG banknotes were unveiled by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on April 5, 2024.

Ongoing economic instability gives rise to the ZiG note family

The BBC reports that the Zimbabwe dollar has “lost three-quarters of its value so far this year. Annual inflation in March reached 55% – a seven-month high. It is the latest attempt to stabilise an economy that has lurched from crisis to crisis for the past 25 years.”

The Associated Press states that, “Since January, the Zimbabwe dollar lost over 70% of its value on the official market, and was plunging even further on the thriving but illegal black market.”

Citizens have 21 days to exchange old banknotes for ZiG notes

Zimbabweans have 21 days to exchange old, inflation-hit notes for the new currency. The Reserve Bank has ordered banks to exchange consumers’ old banknotes as requested.

The US dollar remains the preferred currency in Zimbabwe

Even with the introduction of the ZiG currency, the U.S. dollar will remain legal tender until 2030 according to the law. MRI Bankers’ Guide to Foreign Currency reports that, “about 80 percent of transactions [in Zimbabwe] are conducted in U.S. dollars.”

Sources/References:

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

MRI Bankers’ Guide to Foreign Currency

BBC

Associated Press News

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