Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge has been named Africa’s 2016 Central Bank Governor of the Year by the African Banker magazine and received tremendous applause for cleaning up the sector.
The 10th award ceremony, held during 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.
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.
Since his appointment in June last year, he 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 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 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 the posh Muthaiga neighbourhood, 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.
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 GT Bank, Nigeria.