The African Banker magazine has named Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge Africa’s 2016 Central Bank Governor of the Year and lauded him for “cleaning up” the sector.
Dr Njoroge was feted for strict policing of the sector, which has earned him both praise and condemnation from the industry. His fiscal policies have also led to the lowest inflation rate since June 2013.
The governor also won the admiration of the public on his appointment last year for turning down huge government perks in favour of a modest lifestyle in line with his Opus Dei Catholic faith.
Despite being offered a state mansion in Muthaiga, Dr Njoroge opted to live in communal accommodation in Loresho with fellow members of his strict Catholic faith.
He also turned down a high-end smartphone, a team of security guards and three cars — Central Bank governors have at their disposal a Range Rover, a Mercedes-Benz and a Volkswagen Passat.
Earlier this month, Dr Njoroge scoffed at threats made to forensic auditors investigating the collapse of Imperial Bank.
While appearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Dr Njoroge said unnamed individuals had tried to sway the investigations, but assured the team that CBK would carry out the probe “without fear or favour despite the threat”.
The governor, at the helm of CBK since June last year, has placed under receivership three banks within a year. The lenders – Dubai Bank, Imperial Bank, and Chase Bank – were accused of financial improprieties, and even though Dr Njoroge brokered a deal to re-open Chase Bank earlier in the month, the other two institutions still remain under receivership.
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics from Yale University, and has worked as an economist at the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund.
The 10th award ceremony, held on the fringes of the African Development Bank annual meetings in Lusaka, Zambia Wednesday evening, attracted over 200 entries in various categories, including Bank of the Year, Banker of the Year, and Minister of Finance of the Year.
The event brought together industry leaders from Africa and the world to celebrate the achievements of those driving growth, development and creating new economic activities for communities.
Tanzania’s CRDB Bank was named Best Regional Bank in East Africa, while the African Bank of the Year went to Attijariwafa Bank of Morocco.
Mr Alamine Ousmane Mey of Cameroon was named Finance Minister of the Year, while the commercial Banker of the Year award went to Segun Agbaje of GTBank, Nigeria.