Kenya Shilling

The shilling is still a unit of currency in which of the following countries?
Considering Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa and Kenya, the answer is: Kenya.    
Photo credit: Dser

Though it was phased out of British currency beginning in 1971, the shilling continues to be used as the basic monetary unit in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Kenyan shilling became Kenya's official unit of currency in 1967 when it replaced the East Africa shilling.

As a popular tourist destination in a thriving nation, Kenya's shilling is hardly a major player in its economy. Regardless, the shilling in Kenya has a longstanding historical significance for the nation. For one, every shilling and bill is written in both English and Swahili, representing the convergence of cultures in the region. Indeed, Kenya is a multicultural nation with more than 70 languages spoken— including English, Swahili, Gikuyu, Oluluyia, Arabic, and Hindi.

Additionally, the shilling bears the image of significant political leaders of the time period. When the Kenyan shilling first came out in 1966, it bore the image of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta. Under British colonial rule, Kenyatta was imprisoned for his pro-independence activities. After being released, however, he won an election as Prime Minister, oversaw the transition to home rule, and became president.

Of course, though, the image on the shilling didn't come without some controversy. In 1980, Daniel arap Moi, then-president, replaced Kenyatta on the shilling notes. He remained in power from 1978 to 2002, Kenya’s longest-serving president. Though he was popular for a time, he was later accused of corruption, and some called for removing his image from the shilling.

Learn more about Kenya's coins and banknotes here.



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