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Kenya’s Parliament Approves Appointment of New Central bank Governor

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On June 14, Kenya’s national assembly approved the nomination of Kamau Thugge, an economist and former senior civil servant, as the next governor of the central bank. Thugge was chosen by President William Ruto for the position, following his service as one of the president’s senior economic advisers.

Thugge, who previously held the role of principal secretary in the finance ministry until mid-2018, will succeed Patrick Njoroge, who has served two terms as the central bank governor since 2015 and is retiring. The approval of Thugge’s appointment came after the National Assembly’s finance committee vetted his suitability for the position and recommended his selection.

Ruto will now formally appoint Thugge for a renewable four-year term. Thugge, aged 65, holds a doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins University and has a background of two decades working for the International Monetary Fund before joining the Kenyan government in 2004.

Thugge assumes the position during a challenging economic period, characterized by a depreciation of the shilling currency, high energy and food prices, and a heavy debt burden that has strained government finances.

Notably, Thugge faced legal charges related to the misappropriation of funds intended for dam construction during his tenure at the Treasury in 2018. However, he became a state witness in 2021, and the charges against him were dropped.

His predecessor, Njoroge, has been credited with maintaining price stability during his eight years as governor. However, he faced criticism from traders and importers for his strict regulation of their activities, which led to the decline of the interbank foreign exchange market.

Since assuming power in September, Ruto’s government has taken steps to revive the market, aiming to stabilize the exchange rate as part of its broader efforts.

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