By Groum Abate
The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) is considering printing its birr notes in Sudan.
Sources told Capital that a group of experts travelled to Sudan and visited the Sudan Currency Printing Press (SCPP), a private enterprise established in 1994.
The company that installed state-of-the-art printing machines for currency notes is said to have approached NBE to persuade officials to print new notes using its technology.
In the past NBE contracts European companies to print its birr notes, at a cost of millions of Euros.
SCPP’s main activity is the production of bank notes. It is the only company authorized in Sudan to print banknotes.
The company prints all Sudanese currencies for its main client, the Central Bank of Sudan.
Experts from the state-owned printing company Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise also went to Sudan to visit SCPP and its machines and assess the company’s capacity.
The printing press boasts the latest currency-printing machine from international manufacturing companies. It has more than three currency producing lines from the Swiss KBA Co. with a production capacity of 600 million bank notes daily.
The company also procured a Japanese printing machine, UNO, to print numbers on single notes. This is a new technology in use by only two companies outside Japan.
SCPP also participated in the tender floated by NBE for the supply of MICR enabled cheques in May 2013 following a decision by the central bank and Ethiopian Bankers Association to standardize cheques with additional security features in order to speed up cheque clearing and settlement with security.
Accordingly all checkbooks issued by every Ethiopian banks will be printed centrally through the National Bank of Ethiopia following a standardized format.