The exchange rate of the Kenyan shilling slumped dramatically in mid-2011, from about 83 shillings per US dollar to about 100 shillings per US dollar at late 2011 and to 105 shillings in September 2015. The Central Bank of Kenya shifted its target to tighten liquidity, including increasing interest rate and money market operations. But expected inflows due to tea export drove up the exchange rate to about 84 shillings per US dollar on 31 January 2012.
A 40 Kenyan shilling coin, issued on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kenya.
The first coins were issued in 1966 in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings; 25-cent coins were not minted after 1969 (except in the 1973 set); 2-shilling coins were last minted in 1971 (except in the 1973 set). In 1973 and 1985, 5-shillings coins were introduced, followed by 10-shillings in 1994 and 20-shillings in 1998.
Between 1967 and 1978, the portrait of Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, originally appeared on the obverse of all of independent Kenya's coins. In 1980, a portrait of Daniel arap Moi replaced Kenyatta until 2005, when the central bank introduced a new coin series that restored the portrait of Kenyatta. The coins are 50 cents and 1 shilling in stainless steel and bi-metallic coins of 5, 10 and 20 shillings.
5 Shillings Coin - obverse
5 Shillings Coin - reverse
10 Shillings Coin
20 Shillings Coin
A bi-metallic 40-shilling coin with the portrait of then-President Mwai Kibaki was issued in 2003 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of independence (1963–2003). New coins with the image of Kenyatta were issued in 2005. In 2010, Section 231(4) of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya stated "Notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of Kenya may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but may not bear the portrait of any individual." New banknotes and coins are scheduled to be released by 2018 to meet up with this new law. A new series of coins was issued on 11th December 2018, in denominations of 1-, 5-, 10 and 20 shillings. All of the coins depict the national Coat of arms of Kenya on the obverse and images of Africa's recognizable animals on the reverse. The new series of coins is designed to be more recognizable for visually impaired people.
On 14 September 1966, the Kenyan shilling replaced the East African shilling at par, although the latter was not demonetised until 1969. The Central Bank of Kenya issued notes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 shillings. All of the notes feature a portrait of Kenya's first prime minister and president, Jomo Kenyatta, on the front and diverse economic activities on the back.
5 shillings notes were replaced by coins in 1985, with the same happening to 10 and 20 shillings in 1994 and 1998. In 1986, 200 shillings notes were introduced, followed by 500 shillings in 1988 and 1000 shillings in 1994.
As with the coins, Kenyatta appeared on the banknotes issued until 1978, with Daniel arap Moi's portrait replacing him in 1980. In 2003, after Mwai Kibaki replaced Moi as president, 5, 10, and 20 shillings notes from the 1978 series with Kenyatta's picture that had been in storage were issued, and circulated for a time. A new series of notes was then introduced on which Kenyatta reappeared in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings. The issue of the 200 shillings banknote dated 12 December 2003 commemorates the "40 years of Independence 1963–2003". The banknotes are printed in Nairobi by security printer De La Rue.
On May 31, 2019, the Central Bank of Kenya issued a new family of banknotes without the portraits of known Kenyan individuals, as mandated by the Constitution of Kenya of 2010. At the same time, the Central Bank of Kenya has withdrawn all previous versions of the 1,000 shillings banknote. These remained legal tender until October 1, 2019. All of the banknotes for this series share a common design of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on the front side of the notes, and the back side of the notes feature images showcasing the richness of the people and nature of Kenya: "Green Energy" (50 shillings), "Agriculture" (100 shillings), "Social Services" (200 shillings), "Tourism" (500 shillings) and "Governance" (1,000 shillings). All five denominations also embody each of the big five animals of Africa: the buffalo (50 shillings), the leopard (100 shillings), rhinoceros (200 shillings), the lion (500 shillings) and the elephant (1,000 shillings).
Banknotes of the Kenyan shilling (1996 "Arap Moi" issue)