By Prudence Minayo
Patrick Ngugi Njoroge is the current governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). He is an experienced economist with a career spanning over two decades.
As an economist, he believes that scholars of economics should maintain their interest in society, with the discipline to impact positively and help uplift the life of those around them.
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Here is his story as told by WoK.
Age and Background
He was born in 1961. His dad was an employee in the government education department while the mother was a teacher. Their parents pushed them to do well in school and instilled discipline and respect for others.
Growing up, he loved sciences and electrical and electronic engineering. It was not until he was about to join university that he realized that engineering was not what he wanted.
He told the Star:
“My parents were professionals — dad in the government education system, mom a primary school headmistress. In a sense, we never lacked.”
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1973- 1976: Mang’u High School.
1977- 1978: Strathmore College.
1979- 1983: University of Nairobi (Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics)
1983- 1985: University of Nairobi (Master of Arts (MA) in Economics)
1987- 1993: Yale University (Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) Economics).
From 1985 to 1987, he served as the planning officer in the Ministry of Planning in Kenya.
In 1993, he became an economist in the Ministry of Finance.
In 1995, he joined the International Monetary Fund, where he held a number of positions for more than twenty years:
- From 1995 to 2005, he worked in Washington DC as an economist/senior economist.
- From November 2005 to December 2006, he was a Mission Chief for Dominica in Washington DC.
- December 2006- December 2012, he worked for the Finance Department as a deputy division chief.
- December 2012 to June 2015, he was advisor to the deputy managing director.
In June 2015, he was appointed governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, a position he holds to date.
During his appointment, he surprised many by declining to relocate to an exclusive home in the wealthy suburb of Muthaiga, which was among the many perks that came with the job. In a country where people in big positions enjoy lavish lifestyles in palatial homes and exorbitant salaries, this came as a shock to many.
Instead, he chose to live in the Loresho estate with his fellow members of an organization of the Roman Catholic Church called Opus Dei.
He believes that a successful banker is well grounded and understands the bigger picture. As the governor of CBK, one of his biggest challenges was closing Chase Bank Ltd. The bank had several branches across the country and the closure would affect a lot of people. They had also previously closed two other banks. He believed that although difficult, the decision was sound as it helped them strengthen the banking sector.
In November 2018, he was appointed to the United Nations Task Force on Digital Financing of Sustainable Development Goals by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, CBK issued direct payments to help Kenyans suffering financially.
On 18th November 2020, he was keynote speaker at the Central Bank of the Future Conference. The conference was hosted by the University of Michigan’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy and the Federal Reserve bank of San Francisco.
During his vetting process for the governorship position by MPs, he revealed that he was single. An article by the BBC, reported the MPs even offered him a wife .
“I am single by choice but I fully subscribe to the ideas of the family and there is nothing sinister in this,” he said.