Dr Haron Sirima is likely to be appointed the new Central Bank of Kenya Governor following the expiry of Prof Njuguna Ndungu’s term on Tuesday. Sirima, whom analysts gave a nod ahead of fellow nominees, is currently the Deputy to Ndungu who has been at the helm for eight eventful years.
Geoffrey Mwau, Economic Affairs Director at the National Treasury, Isaac Awuondo, Managing Director of Commercial Bank of Africa, and Rose Ngugi, an adviser at the International Monetary Fund make up the broader list of nominees.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will announce the latter’s successor once approval has been sought by Parliament. “Deputy Governor Sirima is a strong contender for the post due to his widespread experience in sovereign debt management,” said Rand Merchant Bank, the global economic think tank.
“The market should respond favourably to Sirima’s appointment as he is likely to hold the line to maintain price and exchange rate stability.” According to analysts, Ndungu’s administration is credited with the technological advancement of the banking sector which facilitated growth in mobile money-platforms, agency banking and the deepening of financial services across Kenya.
He considers the licencing of micro-finance banks, expansion of the institutional branch network, introduction of Shariah compliant banking products and the credit information sharing mechanism as part of his success. Yet, his tenure was not without its flaws. In 2011, Parliament recommended that Ndungu step down following a period of sharp currency depreciation which led to severe monetary tightening and the stifling of the real economy.