National Bank of Kyrgyzstan Republic awarded the 2023 RACE Award

October, Dubai – The Organizing Committee of the Mint and Print Conference used the occasion of its namesake event (October 3-5, 2023) to honor the novel contributions of the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan Republic (NBKR), by bestowing upon Banknote Expert and conference presenter, Dana Saifullina the 2023 Recognition and Collaborative Endeavors (RACE) Award.  The inaugural RACE Award acknowledges and commends lasting innovations in the currency industry.  More specifically, the award recognizes the importance of and need for effective government and multi-party private cooperation to protect the design, production and issuance of effective and secure banknotes.

Commenting on the need for the RACE Award, MAP founder and chairman Mazen Hamden, noted it was high time that an award called attention to “central bank and private industry collaborations that create new, lasting, and transferrable benefits that can enhance and strengthen the currency ecosystem.” Collaboration between competitive suppliers yielding new innovations has seen an increased presence in 2022 and 2023 as evidenced for example by the new banknote series of The Bahamas.


Dana Saifullina and Mazen Hamden.


The dual-supplier program mandated and driven by the NBKR in designing and producing its new series caught industry attention after the Bank’s presentation at the Currency Conference, Mexico City, May 2023. This led to the MAP organization reaching out to the NBKR to learn more, culminating in the Bank’s presentation in Dubai, “A New Approach for Currency Modernization.”

Ms. Saifullina who continues to oversee the production and issuance of the new series said that the new multi-party agreement required significant dedication from both the NBKR and suppliers but was successful in meeting all of the project objectives and most critically the seamless coordination between competitive suppliers through new banknotes design and origination, a process that is typically organized into bi-lateral supply agreements. Sprinkling her presentation with a bit of humor, Saifullina acknowledged that at times the cooperation felt like a “forced Kyrgyz wedding” but commended the parties involved for delivering on all of the project’s requirements.

The first three denominations of the new banknote series, i.e., 200, 500 and 1000 som began circulating in May.  The remaining denominations, 20, 50, 100 and 5000 will issue in early 2024.

The new 500 Som was issued in May 2023.