Position: Central Bank Governor
Incumbent: Njuguna Ndung’u
Year of Birth: 1960
Term: Appointed March 2007, re-appointed in February 2011
— Ndung’u has restored his macroeconomic management credentials in 2012, effectively propping up the currency and fighting inflation. A Reuters poll ranked him at the bottom of African policymakers in 2011.
— This poor showing came after inflation soared and the shilling currency slumped against the dollar.
— The plunge in the shilling and jump in prices caused parliamentarians to attempt to sack him through a censure motion. He survived narrowly.
— Before that, he had presided over a prolonged monetary easing cycle since 2008, to jump start economic growth after drought, post-election violence and the impact of the global financial crisis.
— Ndung’u has participated in initiatives aimed at increasing banks’ credit to individuals and businesses to fund economic activity and spur growth.
— He supports the introduction of over-the-counter trading for bonds to deepen the market, which has seen investor appetite surge since 2009 due to automation of trading and issuance of increasingly longer-dated bonds and infrastructure bonds.
— Under his stewardship, banks have grown, raising their profits and assets every year. He has also backed innovation in the sector, including mobile phone-based money transfer systems, credited with widening access to financial services.
— He has licensed the first Islamic bank. There are two sharia-compliant banks and an insurance firm in Kenya. Issuance of a sukuk and sharia-compliant Treasury bill is planned.
— Ndung’u, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, was a director of training at think-tank African Economic Research Consortium.
— His research and teaching work spans macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics and poverty reduction.