June 19, 2012 / 6:46 PM / 6 years ago

PROFILE-Kenya's central banker governor Njuguna Ndung'u

Position: Central Bank Governor

Incumbent: Njuguna Ndung’u

Year of Birth: 1960

Term: Appointed March 2007, re-appointed in February 2011

Key Facts:

— 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.

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