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MBABANE – It was a proud moment for the country as the first ever currency museum was launched.

This historical milestone took place yesterday at the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) in Mbabane. Present during the event was Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini, Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku, Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenburg, CBE Governor Majozi Sithole, Cabinet ministers, and presiding officers of both houses of Parliament  and other officials to name a few. The currency museum is an initiative by the CBE that was commissioned by the Board of Directors to preserve the historical legacy of the country’s currency for the benefit of present and future generations.

While addressing the audience during the event, Prime Minister Dlamini described yesterday’s launch as a proud moment for the country as the currency has helped in determining the nation’s economic health and the well-being of all the people of Eswatini over the years. “As we launch the currency museum today, we cannot forget where we come from as a country, from the early days when the kingdom used the barter system to trade, to present day where we pride ourselves with having our very own coins and bank notes which are our identity as a nation,” Dlamini said.

He further congratulated the governor and his team for a job well done as he said; “This collaborative effort, I must say, is very commendable and should be exemplary to other institutions who may want to document the history of the Kingdom in the different sectors. The museum is indeed a treasure for the country and a reference point for many generations to come.”


According to CBE’s Governor Majozi, the currency museum project was started on October 2019, having been preceded by benchmarking visits both locally and regionally. “Unfortunately, delays were experienced in the project implementation timelines as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic which impacted the free flow of required goods and services,” he said. Sithole went on to state that some of the work entailed in gathering data for the museum involved digging through the bank’s archives including consultations with the National Archives, King Sobhuza II Memorial Park and Umsamo. He also pointed out that various individuals also assisted with information and even some of the pictures displayed inside the museum.

“We cannot claim to have got all that was used as a means of money since the formation of this nation. For this reason, if anybody has any information, no matter how far back it dates, that will enrich the museum – please do not hesitate to contact us and we will come to you,” said Sithole.


It is worth noting that a number of artifacts in the museum were sourced from the Minters that the bank has utilised over the years in the mining of the kingdom’s coins, namely: Royal Mint and South African Mint. In this regard, the bank will now preserve a proper record of currency and other bank related events and milestones. This will be done to make it easier to build up on the base that has already been started. Furthermore, Sithole said the currency museum will be open to the public by appointment and with this, he encouraged interested parties to contact the bank’s communication office on 2408 2280. In closing, Sithole conveyed his sincere gratitude to their Majesties for blessing the event.

“The Board, management and staff of the bank have tasked me to present to their Majesties three beasts (ematfokati lamatsatfu) two of these presented to Imbube Yemhlaba His Majesty the King while one is being presented to Siba Lubovu Her Majesty the Queen Mother as a token of our immense appreciation,” he concluded.

Speaking during the launch, Minister of Finance Rijkenburg said the event was about celebrating some of the kingdom’s historical achievements and it was befitting for it to be held at the bank’s headquarters. “As we take a walk down memory lane, we are reminded that in 1974, the monetary authority of Swaziland was established. The authority rented premises from the Swaziland Development and Savings Bank at Egungwini Building,” he said. Officials and invited guests were taken for a tour of the currency museum during the launch and were treated to a performance by renowned soulful singer, Judad Silitsena with a full band.

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