The Central Bank of Kenya ( CBK) has floated an international tender for printing of paper money (banknotes). The tender closes on July 8 and is open to eligible bidders and joint ventures. According to tender documents posted on its website, the applicants must have an average annual turnover over the last five years of $150 million.

The interested bidders must have experience as the prime supplier and have carried out at least ten currency contracts in the last five years. This experience, the tender notice indicates, should include ability to print and supply currency using own or supplied origination material and data-set files. The Cabinet has already approved the new designs ignoring calls for greater public participation in the design and choosing of images that would appear on the new notes and coins. Article 10 of the Constitution allows for public participation in matters of policy. “The Cabinet should not be the only organ that discusses this matter. The entire process right from designs and tendering to printing costs for this new cash should be open and transparent,” explained Kariithi Murimi, a risk consultant with JMG Solutions.
One way of opening up the process to public participation is allowing the discussions to move from Cabinet to the summit where Governors and the President can participate, while allowing consultations at the County level. Article 231(4) of the Constitution states that all notes and coins shall bear only images that depict Kenya. These images exclude portraits of any individual.